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Look What’s 90

You know that feeling, I know that feeling; I love that feeling!  You know, when you are in the groove, things just fall into place, you’re alert and on fire, able to power through and it all gets done.

The energy and motivation to do anything and everything is there, you tap into it and work just flies off your desk.

In the words of the brilliant Freddie Mercury and Queen,

 “Don’t stop me now,

I’m having such a good time,

I’m having a ball”

And you just feel fabulous.

I love it when I get so engrossed in something that it feels effortless, it feels exciting and it feels truly rewarding.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today!

I want to talk about the other days; the ones where I struggle to get started and spend time wondering what to do next. Those frustrating, going round and round in circles days.

The ones where my energy seems to have taken the day off and not much gets done.

Those days; you know the ones I mean.

The ones where getting started seems to take so much energy, everything I turn to do comes with such difficulty that I wonder where the inspiration and motivation just to get through the day will come from.

And there lies the problem; the getting started.

I recalled the words of Lao Tzu who said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” and also Mark Twain’s “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” so it’s not just me – there’s an awareness that the starting point is not an easy place to reach.

And since the festival was in town, I went to see a show……

We’re lucky here in Edinburgh that there is so much going on and I went to see the live recording of the BBC Radio 4 Today program.

My first thought was, we listen to the radio, right? So I am not sure how they can put this into a show – but I am open to new adventures and was intrigued enough to venture out at 06:30 on Saturday morning.

I was totally blown away by the professionalism, the discipline and the adherence to deadlines.

I know I’m good at organisation (because many people tell me so) but this was timing to the second – there were four different stage areas, three live in front of us in Edinburgh  presented by James McNulty and one on screen live from London with Justin Webb.

While one stage was presenting, another was getting ready to go live and the third was clearing up for the next act. Throughout the two hours we were presented with poetry, a song, a fiddle performance and several interviews including two comedians and a political debate about our forthcoming referendum.

Fast, furious, interesting and hugely entertaining.

Wow, this wasn’t about getting started; this was about getting the action right at all times and finishing to the prescripted second.

Every slot ran up to either a timed news or weather bulletin and people had to get their key points across or the opportunity was lost – gone forever.

On the hour were the BBC pips, regardless of what else was going on. And, as James said – the whole world would come to a stop if the pips didn’t happen!

First aired on 5th February 1924 – the pips were 90 years old this year!! Many things have been updated and changed on the show, but the pips have remained throughout.

As the show came to a close I sat in awe of the precision, talent and mastery I had just witnessed – such a contrast to the person at home or in the car relaxing and listening to the radio ‘from the other side’.

So the next time you can’t get started, shift your thinking to your deadline – your pips if you will and you go for it.

Over to you now, quick, get going because you need to finish before those pips start!!


Jane Quinn


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