(… or Dr Who or Downton Abbey or any one of many TV programmes you can no doubt name)
It’s common now for events of previous episodes to be recapped at the beginning of a show. This synopsis reminds us of key people or happenings from the past, sometimes because the story is about to follow on directly from there or sometimes to bring to the fore characters who we thought no longer had relevance to the plot.
In TV vocabulary, a serial is where each episode leads on to another, the story continues and one episode on its own wouldn’t make a great deal of sense: for example, a soap opera. On the other hand, an episode of a series can stand on its own – you don’t need to have seen last week’s Panorama in order to understand this week’s broadcast.
By that definition, I would say that my life is a serial rather than a series: my days do not stand alone, they are linked to those before and after them. My decisions in the office are based on my past experiences and my understanding of the requirements of the future. My choices at home are similarly influenced.
When I work with clients, we spend time at the start of each session reflecting on what’s happened since we last met. I ask them to talk about their main achievements and what they would have liked to have done but haven’t managed to do so far. This time of considering the recent past helps celebrate successes and analyse the actions which haven’t taken place to see what got in the way, whether or not they’re still relevant and whether a different course is more appropriate now.
Don’t worry, we don’t stay stuck in the past! The session then moves into the present to discuss any current issues bugging my clients and the opportunities available to them right now. Completing the progress review aspect of the session is an effective way for the clients to get a feel for the technique of reflection and to encourage them to do so more often.
Just as we may need to be reminded what happened in the previous episode of Spooks, we also sometimes need to consciously remember what’s been going on for us too.
Today’s pebble for you: If you were to write a brief ‘Previously in my world’ synopsis for yourself describing the last month or so, what would it say?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?