Little creatures of nature.

This weekend, the weather was nice so I was walking in the garden to get some sunlight. Suddenly I heard some tsilping coming out of the nestboxes I hung up a couple of months ago. Apparently, we’ve got visitors!

I always hang up some nestboxes in january because I like birds. I keep birds myself, Zebrafinches. It’s always wonderfull to watch little Zebrafinches getting out of the egg and grow up. But seeing wild birds breeding their eggs, feeding their little ones and learning them to fly… That’s just amazing. It makes you realize what a beatiful world we live in.

To go further with my story…

As soon as I heard those little birds and saw their parents with spiders in their mouth to feed them, I went inside and grabbed my camera. I went back and hided under a low tree. After a couple of minutes, the parent couple returned. It appeared to be a couple of Great Tit (Parus major) that was living in this nestbox. They were very active and busy feeding their youngsters. Although a bit shy when they saw me, they continued feeding. I was able to watch them for a long time but taking a picture was something else. I decided to make a video. What do you think of them?

Great Tit (Parus major) from Bart Vermeiren on Vimeo.

While observing this couple, I saw another couple in the next tree. My nestboxes are popular this year :). The other couple was a pair of Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus or Parus caeruleus). They were really curious and came sitting closer to me. When I was inspecting their nestbox, it seemed they were testing me. Flying around my head and teasing me to take a picture but fly away as soon as I positioned my camera to shoot a picture. But I managed to take some pictures and you can see them beneath in the gallery.

Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus or Parus caeruleus) from Bart Vermeiren on Vimeo.

I really enjoyed my saturday observing those birds and I look forward to next weekend. I suppose some of them will have left their nest by then…

Some of the pictures I took:

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Do you like to achieve?

I do. Ofcourse I like to. I want to achieve a lot in my life. From being a director of a big company till saving a PDF without margins.

I guess everyone likes to achieve things. It is in the nature of people to hunt for achievements. You want to cook the best dinner, score the winning goal in an important soccergame or just get your room cleaned every week. Achieving something does not always mean that you’ve set a goal for it. It can be as simple as reaching the gas station with no fuel left in the trunk. Maybe you didn’t notice it, but you achieved something by finding this blogpost. It will make you notice your next achievement.

We always strive to get noticed. That’s difficult. Look around you and you know why. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, podcasts, books and a lot of other media make it easy to get noticed. But the overflood of media also make it easy to stay unnoticed (I’ve just read ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World’ by Gary Vaynerchuk). That is why you need to value your own achievements. As little as they are. The social attention does not make your achievement, it only hypes it.

Last week I created a document in Microsoft Word (Yes, I know I shouldn’t…) and wanted to save this as a PDF. Unfortunately the PDF contained an annoying margin at the bottom I wanted to get rid of. Several Google searches and experiments later I still got the margin and I felt bad. How stupid could I be? I went to bed and started with fresh energy the next day but without luck. Until I was reading a blogpost from David Sparks. Watching his screencast just gave me a final idea: remove my printer from my MacBook Air. Guess what?! The margins were gone. It felt like such a big deal and I was really happy. It costed me two evenings but it was worth it. I smiled for the rest of the evening and was able to send the document.

This was just an example of how simple an achievement can be. We often neglect this legal drug but it really can motivate you. You should use this whenever you can. Having it difficult or struggling with a project? Use your imagination and look for your achievements. It will help you to get on and reach that big achievement everyone dreams about!

Everyone marks his territory.

Cats and dogs mark their territory. Animals all over the world fight for their existence and land. Are we people different? I don’t think so. At work, with friends or even at home, we want to show others what we can and have.

At work, we want to be the boss and have influence on our coworkers. Everyone has his own ideas and opinion and will prove them to the rest. Did you notice that a new boss always has new rules? In fact he or she is just marking their territory. It is nature of human being, just as it is nature to your cat or dog. If someone crosses the line and invades our land, we will tell him so. Maybe that is why we divided our work in different jobs or functions. It is just a way of dividing the land. We are afraid of someone else doing our job. Even if it is to help us. What if he does better? What if he has some other ideas that may affect the way I do my job? You should not be afraid. If they take your job, their job is free :).

The same thing happens when you put people together who have a strong and different opinion. They all want to explain their own idea without listening to the other person. Again, marking their territory. I hate it. I don’t say I don’t do it, but I try to minimize it. I’d rather put my energy in good collaboration to keep our lands together. In every warmovie I’ve seen, the ones that join forces and unite have won.

What to do about it?

  • Do not join the game of someone who is marking his territory.
  • Work together. Express your opinion and listen to other people.