Sunday, 29 December 2013

A new perspective

I always find that the approach of New Year is a an ideal time to take stock of things.Our regular commitments subside and there is a little thinking time.Personally, I am never happy for my work to 'stand still,' and am always looking to improve things and embrace innovation, particularly in social-media.

A few months ago I was at a conference, where I met a lady who listens to a presentation and creates a story from what is being said. I found this absolutely riveting, and the picture at the end captured the presentation perfectly! It actually made a boring talk very interesting! I felt that this would add a lot to my blog, so Anna very kindly took one of my most popular pieces and did one for me! 

So some of you may recognise a part of this piece, but I hope you are as impressed as I was, at the fantastic picture that sums up the post brilliantly.

When I was diagnosed, on that terrible day back in 2007, I was very determined not to let cancer dictate my life, and to be able to still choose what I do with it. I suppose at that time, I was getting a little ahead of myself, as there was no guarantee that I was going to live for very long at all. However, a few years on, and with treatments improving all the time, I am beginning to find myself with a reasonable quality of life.

It is ironic, that I have chosen to fill up my life with cancer content now. I draw comfort from the fact that it is all work that I can now choose, and involves meeting with lots of wonderful people, either patients or professionals. As I have mentioned frequently, people are my passion, and I am finding that my business background is helping incredibly with the things I do now.

A meeting with someone I had never previously met has prompted this post. They had been observing my work in social media for some time, and pointed out that I always took the trouble to thank people. My reason for this is that I know how busy everyone is, and if they take time to do something for me, I should show my appreciation. This person had come a long distance to meet me, so I thanked them too! It was then that I realised that I now value people, in terms of time, not money.

(If you would like to know more about this work you can contact Anna HERE

We all have a value to others, although sometimes we can't see that. We feel that if we do things for no financial reward, that we have no personal worth. Actually, the truth is very different to that! 

In my business life, I got used to everything having a cost, therefore it was easy to place a value on something. The same in our personal lives, we tend to judge people by what they earn, as it is an easy comparison to use. But for me, the most valuable thing I have is time. My time is borrowed so I really do appreciate it's value!

Given the fact that everyone is precious with their time, I can now ascertain my value in peoples lives, by how much time they give me. The same applies in reverse, by how much time I afford others. On this basis things start to look differently. I dare you to look at your social life in the same way!

I now realise, that one of the reason's I struggled psychologically with the fact that I was unable to return to my old life, was the value that I placed on myself. I was earning very well, and was always busy, I felt I was worth something. But very quickly, as I got sicker and sicker, and further away from work, I began to feel worthless. Mostly because I was no longer able to earn money. I can certainly empathise with people who lose their job for any reason. It has taken me a long time to find my true value, which is not in financial terms!

 As I have slowly come to terms with my current life, my value is becoming more obvious. My personal and business experience is now in demand, and people are arranging their schedules around my availability. I know the efforts I have to make, to talk with people, either face to face,or on the phone. My treatment etc takes a lot of time and physical effort, also, as my family is increasing, it becomes more difficult to fit things in but I will if I can, and I want to.

My personal cancer experience, has taught me the value of my own time. It has also made me appreciate, the value of other people's too. We all choose how we use it, so I am very grateful when people decide to give me some of theirs! Whether it is by taking time to read this blog, share it with friends, or follow me on Twitter, thank you, because there is not much higher compliment you can pay someone than sparing time for them.

This blog has been entered into The UK Blog Awards 2014 #ukba14 If you are enjoying my work I would be very grateful, if you could click the attached link and vote for it. 

Vote for Chris’s Cancer Community in the UK Blog Awards

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  1. Excellent graphic and a very worthwhile story. The tie between money and self-worth is a strong one within myself as well...getting sick and asking others for help was a humbling experience, though that aspect of learning to ask was a very big life lesson. I'm glad you've redefined your concept of value and worth. You are worth so much, and doing so much good. Thank you for your blogging, Chris. I'm off to vote! ~Catherine

  2. Hi Catherine

    Thanks, I thought the graphic really added to the post, and was a unique piece of work. Like you, I have learned a lot of lessons, and asking for help is one I have always struggled with, even when I was fit. Some of that issue maybe a macho thing though!

    A business mentor, I have, once told me that I must understand my own value, and I finally do. It certainly helps when being approached to do things, and my business head has returned. I was always told that for every givver there would be plenty of takers. Ain't that the truth!

    Thank you for your support Catherine. The awards can actually be a big thing. I am always championing the benefits of social media in cancer support. Whilst I talk to receptive audiences, things are slow to change. A lot of people are watching these awards, so progress can be made.

    I wish you well for the New Year, and thanks again, Chris

  3. What an awesome photograph and an even more powerful lesson learned. When you shared how your views of self-worth depreciated as your income decreased that was courageous and honest. Thank you. It brings up such a great point for any of us reading and learning from you. We are not measured by what we have or how rich we are but by what's inside and our capacity for loving ourselves just as we are. I love that you see 'time' as one of your most precious assets as I too do much work with 'time'. Yet, what's beneath the time will always be the love we have of self. When we love ourselves, we have all of the time in the world! Wishing you health and happiness in this time of year and always. I love reading and thank you!

  4. Hi Elizabeth

    I'm so pleased you enjoyed the post. The graphic was brilliant wasn't it, and really added to the piece. It has taken me a very long time, to come to terms with not being able to work. It was probably the biggest blow I have received in my life.The illness I can cope with, but I felt completely worthless.

    Only in recent times have I understood my true value. As you rightly say, I now love myself, and am calm once again. I no longer worry about my work, as so many good things are happening now,with what I do.

    Time with my family and friends is so important. I never truly saw that while I was working.

    Take it easy in your own life too Elizabeth. Thank you so much for your much lovely comments. Your experience is valuable when shared. A happy and healthy New Year to you! Chris