Micky Mellon, Shrewsbury, Charles Darwin and Motivating Men

Micky Mellon, Shrewsbury, Charles Darwin and Motivating Men

As usual on Sunday I was listening to Sportsweek on Radio 5 and Gary Richardson was interviewing Micky Mellon the manager of Shrewsbury – the minnows who are playing Manchester today in the FA Cup.

What a great interview with this great character and thinker.  Charles Darwin was from Shrewsbury   and a quote from him describes the football Micky wants –  “Survival of the fittest and strongest”

Micky Mellon uses the community to Motivate

Connecting with the local community is central to Mellon’s approach. It’s why he has sent striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro into a local school to teach French.

He is actually quite shocked and disappointed that some of his players are actually Manchester United fans.  So he has had to overcome some of this with other motivational approach.

Using people from the community is his method.  Shrewsbury based people and ideally Shrewsbury fans.

‘I got the local pub landlord to tell them what happens on a Saturday night when we get beat. He started laughing and said “it’s empty”.  Right, tell them what happens when we win. “It’s like Magaluf —and, by the way, on Sunday it’s mayhem again”.

To force home a point about sticking to a plan, he invited helicopter pilots from nearby RAF Shawbury to share their harrowing stories about serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has sought advice from the Red Arrows to help prepare for different scenarios in a match. 

He has had second world war heroes from Shrewsbury to tell their stories.

There is no doubt that hearing stories and anecdotes from people who you admire and who have obviously had to overcome great challenges to get where they are,  is a powerful motivational technique.

Hardly surprising then that Micky Mellon is not kidding himself about Shrewsbury’s chances of causing an upset.  ‘We play Man United and we have little chance, but as long as we have that we’ll try to build on it,’ he says.

‘We’re playing Man United because we scored in the last minute against Sheffield Wednesday. We talk about stuff like that, it’s no big panic. That’s what we learned from the Red Arrows.’

Hardly surprising then that Micky Mellon is not kidding himself about Shrewsbury’s chances of causing an upset.  ‘We play Man United and we have little chance, but as long as we have that we’ll try to build on it,’ he says.

Anyway – I like so many other football fans will be watching the match this evening shouting out for the underdog.  Come on Mellon and Shrewsbury!!

Hello Kristina – Found On Facebook

Hello Kristina – Found On Facebook

My children – bless them – live with their phones for ever in their hands to keep in touch.   Yes very much in touch – not only with people they meet daily and are friends with now; but also with people they were with at school, university etc.

How different that is to the way relationships worked in my younger years.  People moved into your life depending on your employment and where you were living.  To move on to a new job and location really was quite a wrench.  Settling down in the new area meant setting up a new set of friends.  Unfortunately apart from Christmas cards there were very few contacts with your past.

If I ever did meet up with anyone from my past I actually really appreciated it.  Nothing better than catching up and it was probably down to the large amount of wine involved but those catch up events were full of ho ho ho – good old belly laughs.

What a difference the Internet has made though and it came in at a really great time for me – because I was able to not just say goodbye to great friends for ever – but because contact was going to be possible when we came home from working abroad. (still no idea about Facebook of course – more about that in a minute)  The point was that I was able to follow up on one of the most important periods of my life – my Oman years – rich with wonderful friendships and stories galore.

I was out working abroad in Muscat, Oman.  I was helping set up a nurse training school at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and my wife was a Sister in charge of a children’s ward.  Our daughter Zoe was just one years old when we moved out there and Tom was actually born out in Muscat.

[SIDELINE STORY
The hospital was being built and we were out there helping to get the new building set up with staff and commissioned.  The maternity unit was opened literally the day before my son Tom was born and he was patient number 000000002 and was really lucky.  We only just got my wife Babs to the unit in time – no time popping that pod.  If the unit had not been open we would have needed to drive some distance to the nearest maternity unit – in fact we wouldn’t have made it.]

Anyone who has worked abroad as an expat will tell you of the friendships in that situation. Incredible!!

Families totally live together and share everything.  In Oman –  we would get away at the weekends hundreds of miles in four wheel drives across the desserts, mountains, wadis, and coast.  No tents – just sleeping on camp beds looking up at stars.  I am getting nostalgic just thinking through some crazy lovely experiences.

The other thing was that the expats were from all over the world.  So even though we were there for eight years it was obvious that one day we would have to say long tearful goodbyes.

To name just a few: – Helen and Gordon to Australia;  Hilary and Jim to Portugal;  Asbjorn and Elsbeth to Denmark; Deborah and Andy – USA;  Murdo and Maggie –  WELL – OH?? they landed in Poole, Dorset just down the road – very nice.

The great thing is that we have kept in touch.  Not to chat daily on Skype – in fact that is rare.  No it is social media contact – and when it happens it is magic.  Doesn’t have to be too much.  Just being able to contact easily is all it needs.

However – what about Facebook.  I have really got that youngster attitude towards this social media.  I get it and use it.  I had a phone call from my daughter Zoe this morning, who is currently living in Manchester with her boyfriend Tom.    They have been cleaning their flat this morning because a University friend from three years ago is  coming over from Finland to stay.  Last week Zoe and Tom went to Madrid for the weekend to stay with a friend from university days.   Social media is really leading to social mobility of friendships.

However – I am not a youngster and like many other users my age we are adapting social media in other ways.

Above –  I mentioned that in the old days – during my young adult years – there were times when you moved on in your life to a new job, that friendships just had to be forgotten.  Sometimes those friendship were important at the time.  Sadly I only know of the location of two of my school friends – and yet those friendships then were mega important!   I really don’t think that will happen any more now that the internet exists and relationships can be much more flexible.  There is almost a second level of friendships – important but with different expectations.

What is different for us older facebook users is the ‘What the hell – what have I found here’ gobsmacked moment.

SO…

What if one of your old  friends surfaces on Facebook out of the blue – many – MANY years later.

Enter Kristina!

Six months ago I was flicking through Facebook when I saw a name that made jump.  Kristina was training as a nurse when I knew her – and what a great character she is. She gave up nursing sadly because there was a family business that needed her on board.  I say sadly because she was a good caring nurse who was  incredible with the patients and a joy to work with and be around.  We were friends and moved around in the same circle. Kristina is just a crazy, caring loving person.   However – as always in those days we moved on in our directions.  Contact stopped.

So what a surprise when I could just sit and catch up on Facebook – all about her brother – her mother had recently passed – but much to my delight I learned that she has recently married.

I haven’t actually contacted her yet – but I really need to say hello because a week or so ago I saw that Kristina and her husband have just been to Muscat Oman, and there is a picture of her husband at Al Bustan hotel.  They certainly know how to live as the Al Bustan doesn’t come cheap – it is an amazing building.  [I have some photos of it somewhere (somewhere is the word)].

Anyway all my old friends who have gone off of the radar – hope to chat to you soon if I can find you on Facebook.  I don’t care where you live I will be off in my motor-home to say hello.

Now I had better say hello to Kristina on Facebook.

 

 

Ever Sent Yourself A Valentines Card?

I did once.

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and thought people would be impressed.

It didn’t actually do me any good and I didn’t feel any better. But it did reveal a few things.

Firstly, how young men don’t care how much they lie about the receipt of Valentine’s cards. Secondly, how meaningless they actually are unless you happen to be in a meaningful relationship, in which case it’s like forgetting a birthday: you’re in deep trouble if you do, but get hardly any recognition if you don’t (unless the accompanying present is bank-balance nullifying). Thirdly, what a rip off it is – card manufacturers have promoted quite a few other such days – father’s and mother’s to name but two.

Another thing that my unsurprising card receipt actually revealed was just how pointless it was. It confirmed to me that I thought I was missing something (which I, of course was) but also that this was just a transient thing. Tomorrow I might not be, or might even discover that I would prefer to be. My celibacy was a mere photograph of the moment, not a condensed feature film of the whole of my life. That I happened to be without a loved one at a moment in my life when many are without a loved one is not unusual. But you do of course need to be able to realise this – I can now, more than forty years later; it was more difficult then.

But that, of course, is the whole thing about sending yourself a Valentine’s card. Other people knowing about it. Possibly even showing them the proof. Unlike sending someone else a card – then it’s them knowing about it, and knowing (or more precisely not knowing) who the sender was.

And of course it doesn’t help if the card you sent yourself arrives a day late.

As mine did.

Guest Author – Chris MacAdie

Is Valentine’s Day All About Love?

Yes, of course it is!

Love of card sales. And actually, sales of almost anything else you can imagine!

Try booking a table for two in a popular restaurant, especially if Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, a Saturday or, like this year, a Sunday. You can find special Valentine screenings of Love Story or some other appropriately sentimental melodrama. Our local chocolate shop is full of it – and hopes to be empty of it I suppose come next Monday. The kiddies’ clothes shop idem ditto although the relevance eludes me. The trendy silver jewellery shop has gone absolutely heart-shaped; cardiac I suppose you could say.

(more…)

Valentine’s Day Is Good For Your Health

Valentine’s Day could be renamed as Health Day because research shows that being in any form of loving relationship is good for your health.

We are all aware of the feelings of happiness and joy when we are in a loving and caring relationship; we carry an aura of well-being around with us for everyone else to see.  We feel great and everything in the garden is rosy.  Of course Valentine’s Day is for most people a day of happiness and joy, centred on love and passion, a day of loving feelings.

(more…)

Why You Should Pursue Happiness TODAY – NOW!

I was talking to a friend yesterday who is going through a lot of stress and she basically was telling me how unhappy she felt. I noticed that she kept referring to when this happens I will be… If that happens I will be…

In other words happiness would happen at some time in the future given certain conditions.

As I was talking to her I recalled that I had a book on the subject that had helped me enormously when I was going through a similar period myself. I found the book this morning hidden away at the back of a – rather dusty I have to admit – bookshelf. The book “Happiness Now! – Timeless wisdom for feeling good FAST” by Robert Holden.

I will have to get the book to her today but as I flicked through I recalled much of the wisdom contained therein.

Here I will quote directly from the book to give a flavour. (more…)

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