Richard Maun – How To

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


How To Have A Happy Birthday

10 July 2011

Action Man his birthday jump suit! Who says orange isn't styish?

Action Man his birthday jump suit! Who says orange isn't styish?

I love birthdays and despite mine often clashing with a Wimbledon final, causing me to be hoofed out into the garden as a kid to give the adults a bit of peace for the tennis, I do like 5th July very much. However, a side effect of that date is I’ve always resented Wimbledon’s looming presence and would confess that I find bouncing a hairy little ball over a net rather dull.

I mean when you have Action Man battles to be fought who would possibly trade that to watch McEnroe beating Borg?

This week I had a birthday and polled many good wishes from all sorts of lovely people. The joy of Twitter and Facebook is that people will stop and say hi, so many thanks for all the kind words folks.

And I had a great day, which comprised:

1. Picnic breakfast
2. Running the r/c boats with the kids before school.
3. Zoo trip with the Twins and their nursery class. (This included spending time with the Mingos and asking Oz to take his hand out of the fish tank, as he couldn’t read the ‘these fish will bite’ sign).
4. Lounging on my new sun lounger. (Not at the zoo, I hasten to add).
5. Reading a bit.
6. Playing bass guitar for a while.
7. Paddling in the sea.
8. Swimming in the sea with all the kids.
9. Sherry.
10. A tasty tea with cake and candles.
11. More sherry.
12. Bit of telly, then happy birthday sleeps.

Now that is a cool birthday. I had some presents as well which I ate, drank, listened to and played with (a tin toy of flying aeroplanes, for example).

So, I am properly birthdayed-out for another year.

Now, if you’re thinking that I’m being a bit self indulgent here – that’s the point! We’re all special lovely people and our birthday is our special day. I’ve not always been able to have the day off work, so this year was better than many, but I always find some things to do that make me smile.

Sadly, I’ve met many people who let their birthday slide by unnoticed, which is a real shame – we all need big birthday strokes.

Therefore, when planning your next birthday, please follow my A-B-C of birthday happiness:

A) Book the day off work.
B) Plan to do at least three things that day that make you smile (they don’t have to be expensive).
C) Look forward to accepting birthday strokes.

I’m 43 now and next year will be just as good, so I can’t wait to be 44! Getting older just means I need a bigger cake to handle the candles! A win! I love cake!

…Oh and Mingos are what Oz calls Flamingos. And a ‘stroke’ is a unit of recognition and we all thrive on these – they’re like soul food.

Happy Birthday to you all!


Why Twitter Works

16 March 2010

Flikr Creative Commons: credited to ehnmark

One way to be heard...or you could tweet

I was asked this question at a recent workshop and my answer was; it’s a stroke rich environment. Simples.

In Transactional Analysis a ‘stroke’ is defined as a unit of recognition and we all have a need for recognition as an essential human hunger (Berne, 1966). I know the term ‘stroke’ has a medical meaning, but in this context it refers to the act of recognising our self or others. Think of it like stroking a cat; if you move from head to tail you might get a little buzzy purr and a happy kitty. Go from tail to head and you can lose a finger. Cats know all about strokes!

Twitter provides us (I like tweeting) with a chance to be heard and to be acknowledged. We don’t have to be saying anything smart, we can just be present and can have our existence validated.

All of the smiles we get, the banter and the electronic ‘hugs’ are real and genuine strokes. People on Twitter bank them, share them and relive them as their timeline flows and people comment and laugh and cry together.

If you’re sitting at home looking for a job, or in an office on your own, or raising children, or simply wading through the daily treacle of life, you too can have as many healthy strokes as you need.

Twitter is for real people. It works because when you write something you are noticing yourself first and that’s a good source of strokes. It works because you can have company when you’re physically isolated (stroke deprived). It works because people hand out strokes freely and the networks of Tweeters support and encourage each other.

There’s a big bonus too. Increasingly people are using Twitter as a source of business because people buy from people and chatting is a great way to develop relationships. I’m not talking here about the spam from multi-level marketing organisations (mlm) who can make you rich by clicking here!! (If it was that easy would I be writing this and would you be reading it?) What I mean is good old fashioned networking; talking to people, making friends, gaining trust and then doing business.

All these strokes can be great for our health and well-being and for our bank balance too.

And you can have all this for free. Twitter works because real people can really be present and get real, healthy strokes. Find me on Twitter at @RichardMaun and tell me what strokes you need. We can have a Twitter #strokeparty.

Tags: , , ,


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact