Robert Godden’s musings and rants

I muse. I rant. This is my outlet!

Posts Tagged ‘life

Life is Real

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I write this blog; a column on; a few articles here and there on sites such as ERE, press releases and news stories for my main employer; all the content for four websites; I have one book published and three more on the drawing board.

In other words, I write a lot. In fact, I also talk a lot. Communication of ideas and concepts is really what I do.

But we have a problem.

Lately, I’ve found that actions speak louder than words. Try losing over 40 kilos (90 pounds for my US friends) and it becomes the opening conversational gambit for everyone you know when you see them. That’s if they recognise you in the street.

Whilst I never tire of the compliments, it does start the conversation down familiar paths. And inevitably; that path is advice.

Yes advice: I’m full of it. How to get around to finishing that book you’ve been writing for years. How to lose a massive amount of weight. How to harness social networking and fulfil your destiny!

You expect to get asked for advice when speaking at conferences etc. After all, you’re there as an expert. And ditto: columns and news stories have advice running through them. So I write; speak and generally impart a lot of advice.

Or do I? Is it really worthwhile when people don’t actually listen. I pretty sure many of them don’t. How am I to know if they do or not?

With real life and most of my work becoming a full-time advice dispenser; what about the other sides of my life. The beauty of this blog; and; is that they are my outlets for emotion, not really advice.

OK, so I still pontificate on this blog. That’s me. But it’s stuff I feel passionate about.

At the moment there are a few things in my life that occupy a lot of my thoughts. Given the lack of nourishment that intensive dieting offers; perhaps I have less thoughts as well.

It amazing that I appear to transitioning to the web. The things that affect me the most are private issues that will not make it to this blog. They dominate my conversation with my nearest and dearest. So, they get endless repetitions of the same theme; my 312 satisfied blog readers get passion and interest; my twitter Friends get the benefit of my rapier-like wit and my column readers get as much advice as they can eat for $0.

In The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie, there’s a painter who disappears into his own painting; he ceases to exist in real life. Sometimes I feel that I’m slowly becoming a net persona and that this is a substitute for real life.

Someone asked me where I lived the other day and I replied “LinkedIn”. True, we had been discussing social media; and I was being funny.

The difference between disappearing into the web, and say, falling down a rabbit hole to a magical kingdom, is that the former is more subtle: because you feel you can pop back anytime from the web. But try going on holiday and not being on-line. I’m nowhere near a full-time web junkie, but I do feel the need for web-ether running through my veins after just a day or so.

Yet I’m reasonably interesting in real life and I quite enjoy it. Why does the web have this attraction? Perhaps a blog is simply a conversation where I’m never interrupted: the ultimate soliloquy.

Or perhaps I’m like a late night talk DJ who’s never sure if anyone is out there, I hope for callers – or comments, as it is on this blog.

Attack me or flatter me; disagree with me or proclaim my spot-on-brother-ness; just don’t ignore me.

Because I wonder what happened to the painter, when people stopped looking at the painting? 




Written by robertgodden

June 16, 2008 at 7:07 am

Posted in Family, Musings, society

Tagged with , ,

What was that? That was your life, mate!*

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I’m sure many people in my industry hear the question as often as I do: “So, why do you work in recruitment?”

The glib answer that falls off of my tongue is: “because you can change people’s lives”.

There’s no more satisfying feeling than when you ring that superb candidate to tell them they have the role that they really wanted – as a matchmaker, you’ve consummated a successful relationship: one that may last many years, if not virtually forever.

But like matchmaking, that’s not always the case.

Nevertheless, if you’ve done your job well, you feel the world is a better place.

It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our own self-importance. “Thanks to me, that company has gone from strength to strength since I appointed the new General Manager/ CEO/ Chauffeur/ Accountant/ Washroom Attendant” is a pretty comfortable thought pattern.

You have a lovely smug feeling about the great job you did for your client. But for me, it’s always about the candidate. I like to think that a brand new, better paying, challenging role; particularly for a nice candidate, is a massive life-changing event.

I fell into recruitment after spending the early part of my career in PC sales, primarily to families. I loved the feeling that the PC was for many people (and we’re talking late ‘80s, early 90’s) one of the most significant and expensive purchases they would make. I loved being part of that commitment.

So, that paints a picture. I wonder how many out there are like me. 43, happy with life, feel like you’re making a difference.

At 17, I had different ideas. I was about to conquer the rock world and explode onto the world stage. I was sure of it! As part of a three-part post-punk band who were almost certainly the best or, at worst, second best band in the country town I grew up in; myself, Paul and Charlie were destined for big things. But unbelievably; something slipped ‘twixt cup and lip. Perhaps it was my overwhelming lack of talent.

The other two guys were very important to me, but after high school we scattered across Australia, and until last year, I had not much idea where they were. Then Facebook happened.

Thanks to Facebook, I’m now in semi-regular contact with various people I knew 20, 30 or more years ago.

That’s how I know that Charlie – my best mate in the world for maybe 2 years in the early ‘80s – graduated with two degrees from university a week or so ago – at the same time as being diagnosed with a condition that the words “life-threatening” hardly do justice.

In another hour I’ll be in the office, struggling to tell myself that the sourcing exercise I’ll be working on is as important today as it was on Friday.

I’ve often heard people use the phrase “Get some perspective”. But to quote the late and great Douglas Adams “if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion”

*(The title for this blog post is a quote from Monty Python’s meaning of life. I was tossing up between that and “Vale of Tears”; but if you’re looking for a quote, Monty Python wins every time.)

Written by robertgodden

May 12, 2008 at 7:00 am