Great Escape Podcast episode 38 - A Little Escape

 

I've got a few quiet moments whilst my students are out doing an exercise.

I'm teaching a course all this week. It's absolutely terrific fun and on this Little Escape episode of the Great Escape Podcast I just thought I'd talk about what it's been like to sit with a group of people who've never done anything like what we're talking about this week.

A lot of them have no idea, other than that they wanted to join this course, about the real nitty-gritty about what we do every day when we're being a celebrant But one of the joys for me, spending a week with a group of people from all walks of life from all over the country, is the things I pick up from them the little bits of conversation where I suddenly realise that I thought I understood a concept or I thought I understood how something works, or a group of people live their lives, and actually discover that the reality is somewhat different.

So the privilege as as a teacher, as somebody who is helping other people explore their...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 36 - What's your ethos?

 

I'm helping a friend fill in an application for an award ceremony in the industry that she's in. And the first question is, what is the ethos of your organization? Well, it's kinda difficult to answer that question if it's just you as a self employed person, because you're immediately thinking, "But I'm not an organization." But nevertheless, you still have an ethos, the way you do business. Google used to have a kind of mission statement, a thing that said, don't be evil. Interestingly, they dropped that which I found a fascinating insight into the way the company was moving. But having an ethos, having a way you do things, having a kind of a DNA to the way your business exists, is actually really important. And often that way things are done stems from the culture of the person or the people who set up that business. And if you're just a one man band, or a one lady band, then obviously it's pretty easy. It's you, it's the way you do things. If you like to do things in a quality...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 34 - What is it really like to work for yourself?

 

Several people have asked me recently what it's like to work for yourself, to run your own business, and so I thought I'd kind of talk about that a bit today. I've been running my own businesses, or starting businesses, since about 1995, and at that point, my then wife and I had two small children, one on the way. It was a decision in a way that was forced on us at that point. My employer had just been taken over by its largest competitor, and we were basically shut down. The whole business was closed, so I was made redundant along with all of my colleagues. So I had to do something, and to me at that particular moment in time, starting my own business seemed like the only sensible option, which was fine, except I really had no clue what I was doing. So if I was to look back on that now, I'd do loads of things differently. But since then, I've started lots of businesses of my own, and been involved in several startups with other people, and one of the worrying things that you hear...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 32 - A Little Escape on serendipity

 

And a little bit of light relief today.

Yesterday something really strange happened. I was walking down the corridor in the office building where I have my office and I could hear my voice coming out of one of the other offices, and I stuck my head in and there were the group of people. I know they work in the next office down the corridor and said "Hello". And they said "We're listening to your podcast." And then followed a conversation about how much they were enjoying it, and how they thought it was going but it seemed very very strange to me that randomly a group of people who physically, quite close, would be listening to something that I had recorded a few weeks ago just as I was walking down the corridor. And it got me thinking about the whole concept of serendipity, Of things that happen when you're not really expecting them to. So coincidence is just things that happen at the same time. Turning up at a place and bumping into an old friend that you didn't know was going....

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Great Escape Podcast episode 30 - Get help, don't struggle alone

 

After last week's conversation with Dawn Apuan, and the last couple of weeks have actually been pretty tricky for me from a work perspective. I took the funeral last week for a 24 year old, who had taken his own life, and it was a real challenge to bring some sense of comfort, and meaning to his family, and to the 150 plus people at the crematorium, at the ceremony to say goodbye to him. And the tragedy of the whole situation really was that he knew, because he said so, that if he'd reached out for help, there would've been any number of people who would have been there for him, but somehow the state of his mind, his mental illness, his depression just meant that he was unable to reach out for that help, unable to find connection with another human being, and that just really left me very, very saddened about the state of society where people are so isolated. So my thought for today is really don't ever feel that you are completely isolated, because that's almost never the case. In...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 22 - Legacy

 

- [Stuart Morris] This is the Great Escape Podcast. Episode 22.
We are go for lift-off in T-minus ten
All systems are a go
Hit it
- Yesterday was a tough day. For lots of reasons but primarily because we said good-bye to an amazing lady, one of my longest standing friends, Ann Collins. She has been fighting cancer for 10 12 years and kept bouncing back. But the thing that's really stuck with me is how everybody who was at the funeral spoke of how she was always positive, always finding beauty in the world, always trying to sow something of joy, or some uplifting thought. And that reminded me of something that when I'm teaching Celebrants, I think it's the last slide of the course, is to think about our legacy. What is it we want to leave behind? When somebody else is writing our eulogy, what three things would we want them to say about us? And yeah, we're not perfect, we're all human, we're all flawed people, we all have good days and bad days. But overall, what is the sense that...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 20 - A Little Escape on getting outside your comfort zone

 

As you know, one of the things that I do, amongst the many, is I take funerals for people who don't want a church ceremony. And I've had the opportunity, in the last few days, to explore the funeral industry in Melbourne, particularly, in Australia. And it's been a really interesting experience to meet other celebrants and people involved in the industry, to see their perspective on the way a funeral should be taken or prepared, and how the interaction with the family is interestingly different to the way that we do it, and the way we teach in the UK. And that got me thinking, once again, of something that I mentioned in last week's Little Escape, the way our brains get entrained in particular ways of doing things. And I think it's really important that sometimes we step outside our own experience of how something should be done, or our own tradition, if you like, and go and experience the way other people do it. Sometimes, the way other people do things may be really uncomfortable...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 14 - A Little Escape on community

 

- This is the Great Escape Podcast, episode 14: "A Little Escape" with thoughts on community.
- Several of my podcast guests recently, and some that you haven't heard yet because they're in upcoming episodes, have talked about the importance of being in a community; of having friends and family who they can talk to, who they can explore ideas with, who can encourage them, who can hold them to account or even criticize them. And that's had me thinking quite a lot about when I've been happiest in my life is when I've been in relationships with people, not necessarily big, serious relationships, just relationship, friendship or whatever it is; that have been positive and uplifting, sometimes challenging. But rarely sort of blindly critical. And the times when I've felt worst, especially times where my mental health has been at its worst; have been the times when I've been incredibly alone, even in the midst of a crowd. And part of that is my own doing, when I'm feeling down I tend to...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 10 - A Little Escape - Tenacity

 

Little Escape episodes are recorded wherever I am and usually have a lower level of audio finesse.

- [Stuart L. Morris] This is The Great Escape Podcast. Episode 10.
- [Announcer] We are Go for liftoff in T minus 30. All systems are a Go.
- [Stuart] Well actually it's the 11th episode because I started counting from zero which is a bit of a geek joke and now I feel I have to continue it because it's too difficult to change and renumber all the episodes. Last time I was interviewing Michael Cordova who left his corporate job and started Floating Point Center just outside Reading in the UK. And he and his wife Tina have built a business that they run themselves, that they're passionate about, that they enjoy, and that is meeting the needs of their family as they expect the birth of their first child. As something that struck me particularly about Michael's story last time was how he said that he had ended up basically stalking me to the car park of the organization we both worked at at...

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Great Escape Podcast episode 8 - A Little Escape on planning

 

Little Escape episodes are recorded wherever I am and usually have a lower level of audio finesse.

I'm on the road again today. Bright and early, glorious sunny sky. In fact, not a cloud in the sky as I crawl onto the M25, the motorway around London, which is always a bit of a car-park at this time in the morning. And today, although I've got a lot of driving to do, which gives me time in the car to listen to podcasts, and think, listen to some music, it also is a day when I'm doing what is absolutely essential to any successful project, which is thinking about that project, planning how the whole thing's gonna fit together, what we're going to do, how we're gonna make it work.

The idea of today is not to get it perfect, but just to get something down so that later on, as the project moves forward, that plan can be refined, and edited, and modified. But if there's nothing down, then I'm just making it up as I go along so there can't be any improvement. What I find really, really...

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