Monday, 26 November 2012

Livity Advantage Week 3/4: Life According to Ronan Keating

There's the established notion of a difficult second album, but this past week I've been battling with an evasive, supposedly serial blog post.

For the first time in a while I am busy. Every-minute-of-the-day, where-the-heck-has-the-time-gone busy, and I am loving it. I spend my days engrossed in the Livity Advantage course like an oft-mentioned sponge, and my nights to-ing and fro-ing both literally and figuratively as I sign my life and brainpower over to an increasing number of wonderful things.

The past week marked the halfway point of the Livity Advantage course (eek!) and with it came endless pontificating about the possibilities that lay ahead, and the massive scope of opportunities that are just waiting to be seized. I know we're learning and ‘growing’ as potential employees, but it also feels like we're in a limbo of sorts; a suspended animation of keen, raw talent and any minute now someone is going to press the great big play button and we'll have only a few seconds to acclimatise before we hit the ground, preferably running.8 weeks never seemed long, but now we’ve gone past the tipping point, as it were, it’s almost like we’ve climbed the arduous but arguably comfortable incline and now we’re teetering at the top, verging on descent, ready for the last 4 weeks to go rushing past our ears as we plunge in to the real world faster than our stomachs can handle.

I don’t often find myself referencing the esteemed Ronan Keating in day-to-day life (complete lie) but I can’t deny that the man summed it up pretty succinctly when he sang about life, rollercoasters and the duplicity betwixt them, as my previous analogy would clearly suggest.So, while I fight against every fibre of my being and refrain from labouring Mr Keating’s metaphor any further (at huge personal cost, might I add) I should probably fleetingly declare my undying love for the Penguin Spinebreakers brief we are currently working on, which I will no doubt go in to much more detail about next week when we’ve PITCHED TO PENGUIN. Sorry, obligatory caps lock there while I endeavour to let that sink in. Oh, and I’m also climbing up the O2 to sing carols at sunrise which will potentially be televised. So yeah, next week will be an interesting one!So, in essence, it’s in your interest to stay tuned because, well, for one, I’m going to be standing on top of the O2, in December, in choir robes, singing Christmas carols at 7am, and not many people can promise you that in a weekly(ish) blog post.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Livity Advantage Week 2: The Science of Learning

There’s something strange about sitting down at the end of a week and contemplating the seven days you've just lived. Obviously on Livity Advantage I am tangibly learning new things what feels like every other minute of the day, and so the process of going over what I've encountered, cementing new ideas and consolidating the vast amounts of information in to something akin to being able to process and fully useful to me is a sensible one that actually presents immediate and obvious benefits, but how many of us do that in ‘regular circumstances’?

What did you learn this week?

It might be something small, like a new function within your email account (or perhaps rather large if that function was compose, or even send) or something huge like how to manage your emotions in a certain situation, or that crucial algorithm that’s going to completely revolutionise the way you work. No matter what you've done, where you've been, or who you have or haven’t been in contact with, I guarantee you have learnt something over the past week; that something has been added to the vast, limitless database that exists inside your head, even if you’re not consciously aware of it.
Still not convinced?
Ok, I’ll go.
*deep breath*
This week, week 2 of the Livity Advantage course, I have discovered the ins and outs of the power of video content from the incredibly-named Hugo Soul, been let in on Matt Connolly’s 3-point plan for business success, learnt the incredible reach and growing impact of mobile, and mind-numbing statistics from Mary Burris at Google, like the fact that there are over 850k Android devices activated each and every day, which is in fact more than the number of babies born, and also how to go about forming a coherent, useful status report for an expectant client, and that really is just off the top of my head.
I know I'm in a specific learning environment, but wouldn't it be a fantastic thing to get to the end of a week and just stop and think about what it is we've done, or even achieved, and be able to self-assess and self-manage in a way that could ultimately improve the way we live, and indeed go about living as a whole.
Why not give it a try? It doesn't have to be written down, but just have a think. Is there anything else that you would like to learn or achieve in the next week? Is there anything that in 1 week’s time you would like to be able to think back on, maybe sat where you are now, and feel proud of or feel, tangibly, like you've learnt or done something useful to you or maybe even to those around you.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Another thing I learnt this week, from Lizzie Bentley-Bowers at Coaching Impact.
It’s not easy to self-examine, but even on a superficial level, knowledge is power.
Oh, and one other thing I've learned: Steve Lennon has pretty awesome taste in random, heart-warming YouTube videos.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Live What You Love

Have you ever been so deep in thought that you almost missed your stop?

It happened to me for the first time earlier this week on my way home from the Livity office. (I can only apologise to the woman sat next to me at the time for the actual, physical jolt of realisation that occurred on my part, and what was potentially the ensuing heart-attack on hers.)

For the first time in a very long time I am excited to get up and get to the office in the morning, and I find myself riding the residual buzz of excitement and inspiration all the way home at night, right up until I'm overcome by sleep. I'd forgotten, or perhaps never even known what it feels like to be so completely engaged, and as the sudden influx of posts would suggest, my creativity has been poked with a great big stick and roused from hibernation.

This is living; truly.

Everything suddenly makes sense, and in the most clichéd, cringe-inducing fashion I now know what it means to be high on life; nigh-on intoxicated by living what I love, and achieving and learning so much more because of it.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Livity Advantage: Week 1

Wow. Well. What can I say? It’s been quite the week and there are 7 more still to go. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind, and I’m not even being clichéd when I say my feet have barely touched the ground. (Well, maybe a bit) I’m incredibly lucky to have been chosen as part of the final 15 for Livity Advantage who now make up our very own agency that will be dealing with real-life briefs and clients over the 8-week period, all the while learning the hows, whats, whens, wheres and whys of Digital Media from some of the best in the industry based around a series of Google-pioneered toolkits. Got that? Good. Bear with.