Friday, 31 October 2008

Clean Feed or Internet Filters?

There has been a lot about clean feeds and internet filters that has come across my radar this week.

In summary, the Australian Government wants to filter the internet so that "naughty" sites will not be accessible. Different community groups and user communities have been expressing their opinions for and against the ideas. There are technology issues such as any filter is quickly made redundant by the people is was supposed to protect (the same way Dad used to bring me the headache drug bottle with a child proof lid because he couldn't open it and I could - I was in primary school!). Filtering will slow the internet down - the technology tests have proven it but commonsense does too. Look at any pool filter and you will see the water does not flow freely, it has to be pumped or sucked through, why should internet be any different.

There are issues in administering the filter. Who decides what is black listed and what is not? Who has input to the decision making? What guidelines will be used? Who creates the guidelines?

There are issues in the ethics of the internet filter. Should this be done? Does it impact our free speech? It it for the greater good? An extreme case of this can be seen in the film Serenity (that I have watched a couple of times this week). For the good of the whole the government meddles and causes a disaster. I know it is fiction, but how does the meddling start?

The thing that gets me is not whether the government should or should not have an internet filter , but why are they getting involved. Is it because parents are too lazy to do it for themselves? Many teacher friends of mine comment on how parents expect the teacher and school to teach EVERYTHING to the student. Not just reading, writing and arithmetic, but manners, ethics, social behaviours and a myriad of other skills. Granted the internet and technology is rapidly changing and it is hard to keep up, but surely it can't be too difficult to have them use the internet in a room where they can be supervised or limited in the number of hours they are on the internet? Heaven forbid that parents have a discussion with the child about pitfalls of the internet!! Next thing you know I will expect parents to listen to children read aloud to them!

The bigger issue that I see happening is one of responsibility. It is becoming rarer than ever in our society. Yet the people who take responsiblity for their actions and their lack of actions are the ones that move ahead in their life. They are not looking for an easy way out, a person to blame, someone to handpass the problem to, they look at what is their part in this issue.

In my life and in my presentations, I share with people what I call the "Two Killer Questions."
They are:
What is my part in this?
What can I do differently?

It means that as an individual I can look at what is my responsibilty. So with Clean Feed and Internet Filters, what is it that I want for my kids, myself or my workplace? Has this situation come about due to some action or inaction on my behalf? Maybe I have no part in the current situation but I want it to be different.

What action must I take. Do I need to supervise people, limit certain sites in the workplace, communicate an internet policy, write to the government and let them know my wishes?

Responsibility means that I have the ability to respond. I can take action to get the results I am after.

Beyond the internet filters, beyond the clean feed, beyond raising a family but in life as a whole, I strongly urge you to take FULL responsibility. It doesn't mean you have to do everything, you can ask for help (I am here if you need me!!) but do take responsibility for your choices, your actions and your lack of actions.

Remember the two killer questions:
What's my part in this?
What can I do differently?

Once you have done that, it's easy!!

Have a great weekend

Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Yes, you can say No

This comes up time and time again in my workshops, with my coaching/mentoring clients and even with my friends. So I wanted to clarify this.

It is OK to say No.

You may not feel that way, you may feel that if you don't do it no one else will. Or maybe you can't say No because you "should" say Yes. You have a rule that family members, friends, colleagues, bosses, workers "SHOULD" perform in a certain way.

From my own bitter experience, I have found out that saying Yes all the time is great for everyone else, but really bad for me! They get everything they want and I get exhausted and resentfull. But the really kicker is that they want you to say No. They may not think it, but they do.

Your boss will continue to ask you to do things and when you are at full capacity, they want you to say no. Your friends will keep asking for favours and expect that if you can't do it, that you say no. It may not seem it at the time but they would much prefer you to say No up front than get to their deadline and have you inform them that because you have too much on that you couldn't do it. Your family would much prefer you say that you don't want to go along to the family trip versus whinging and moaning about it for months afterwards.

Yes, the short term is painful. Letting people know that you can't or won't do, say or be what they want is challenging. But the long term payoff is so worthwhile. Once you have established the boundaries of what you will and won't do, each party has a far better understanding of each other. Their are fewer assumptions and expectations and fewer opportunities for mixed messages.

So start practicing today! What do you need to say no to it? How can you say no respectfully and with care? Maybe you could start with smaller things and work your way up once your No muscle has had a bit of a workout?

But don't forget to practice the otherside of the equation also!! If someone says No to you, don't hassle them or berate them. Allow them the courtesy of saying what they need to for them. As we know, saying No is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile.


Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

Monday, 27 October 2008

Accidentally Famous

You never know who reads your site, blog, twitter, facebook or whatever else you do.

While "Famous", as referred to in the title, is a bit of a stretch I was pleased to find out that my ex-Poodle was referred to on an English TV series. He was a chocolate toy poodle and his name was Burma. So full of energy and life but unfortunately he burst a disc in his back and I had to put him down - a very difficult and heart wrenching decision.

Thanks to the internet, he will live forever (well at least until he gets archived!!)

Stephen Fry was the host of a BBC program called Quite Interesting where they would chat about obscure facts and look for funny questions to challenging questions. After talking about the country Burma and getting ready to go to the ad break, Stephen looked to camera and said:

"Actually, interestingly, while double-checking this information on etiquette and Burma on the Internet, we came up with the extraordinary information that it's considered polite to express joy by eating snow and to send unwanted guests away by biting their leg, and normal behaviour to wipe your mouth on the sofa. This is actually true, the researchers were writing this down with great excitement about Burma, only to discover in the end that Burma turned out to be the name of a poodle belonging to the author of the website. "

I found the quote on the TV guide here

The show is very funny. Check out the middle of the episode on You Tube. Burma is on at 3:19

The point is, yes there is a point, you never know who will see what you write and where it will be. That page of my old website is long gone, it went with Burma, but it has had an impact!

What sort of impact will you have?


Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

Friday, 24 October 2008

Are you sure it's not funny?

Life is pretty serious. I mean, just look at the people on public transport, people walking down the street, strolling through the supermarket, huddled around the stock market numbers, watching over kiddies, driving cars...... How serious is everyone!!

I don't get it.

People seem to have so much more fun when they laugh, or even just a smile. Wouldn't you think they would want to do it more? Wouldn't you think that every situation has to have at least some fun part to it, some element that could at least bring on a smile? Even a boring board room meeting?

I know what I did. I focussed on having a smile as my default expression. Not an easy thing to do but with practice it works. So when I walk down the street, go on a train, ride my motorbike, talk with strangers, I smile. It makes me feel good and others join in.

Wanna join me to? Today, put a smile on your dial. I DARE YOU!!!


Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy