I was really interested to ask this series of questions because Alan is in fact my father, and although you can be incredibly close to someone, you can find yourself learning something new about them and taking inspiration from it.
Alan has had a varied and exciting life. He’s lived and worked in many countries, including going as far flung New Zealand and managing business deals and trips in the USA, Norway and Paris. In his fifty years you can never say his life has been boring, or without change and chance to grow.
He has always been incredibly hard working and passionate about his career and business. From a young age, I remember him always working hard, building up a successful career and putting in many hours at the office to get where he is today. His discipline, motivation and can-do attitude is inspiring, and something I have tried to emulate throughout my life.
Additionally, he’s always someone to encourage you to ‘go for it’ and not worry too much about the decisions you make in the process of it. My dad has had such an interesting life, living in many places, doing a whole range of jobs and it’s made him such a well-rounded person you’d happily take advice from. I am very risk-averse, and so sometimes it’s good to get a nudge from him to just take the plunge and experience life to the fullest.
Alongside his job, he travels often with his wife, exploring many places, cultures and getting a good tan along the way. He’s seen endless countries and always has a good story to tell about them.
Alan is a loving grandfather to my niece and nephew, and seeing his face light up when he gets to cuddle them, Skype them on a Sunday or celebrate a milestone with them is precious. He also has his hands full with his children, and wonderful step-children (there’s seven of us in total!) as well as all our plus ones. So it’s a wonder he’s so good at his job and travelling when he’s got us and his lovely wife to please at the same time!
Thanks Dad for answering these questions, we can all learn a lot from your desire to always be learning, dedication to your career, hard-working always driven attitude and the ability to take risks, make changes and not be afraid of what tomorrow brings.
So here are his answers to my twelve questions:
What makes you happy?
Seeing my family happy is all that matters to me – I love it when Mrs M smiles, when my kids and step-kids tell me of their days and dreams. I also like to travel, to to experience new cultures, not just to “holiday”. I love seeing how people react and respond in different ways to the same things. I wish we could all spend more time together but logistics and work gets in the way too often.
What book had the biggest impact on your life?
It has to be my dictionary. Out of 171,476 words available ( 2018 version ) we only use, on average, 5000 in our daily communications. I still find myself using it on a daily basis when I encounter a new word.
What quote, or saying, do you live by?
There are 2 and I keep then both by my desk
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it”
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”
How do you remain, or regain, your focus?
Every day my job and life offers me new challenges. if that ever stops then I need to look for a new job. Just because I am old doesn’t mean I have to stop learning and growing. I try very hard to be the shepherd rather than the sheep, I want to lead the way, not follow other people footsteps.
What inspires you?
Life – just look around you ( where ever you are ) nature is showing you some wonderful things. The seasons and how the changes bring about new growth, how animals have adapted to different circumstances. Cannot think of anything more inspiring than that.
What are your top three priorities?
- To wake up tomorrow
- To learn something new every day
- To see Notts County play at Wembley or in the Premier League – we all have to dream
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Well, rumour has it that I am grumpy
What two purchases have you made this year that you really value / had most impact?
My trip to France with Alison – seeing the sights together and, as it turned out, seeing the Spire on the Notre Dame about a month before it was no more. That made me realise that if you put off your dreams you might just miss out.
Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do?
What a question. In life, in work, wow so many variables here. All I will say is take every opportunity to do something new. Worry about the how later. Don’t make mistakes, takes risks and learn from them.
What are you most proud of?
Well I will not state the obvious here, see what makes me happy for that.
I try very hard not to listen in judgement. Often, when people are telling us things we will listen and provide responses based on our own bias. We also come up with an idea and then stop listening, but instead waiting for a gap in the conversation to voice our thoughts. That is what I mean by listening in judgement. By doing this, also means that I tend not to take sides.
An unusual habit of yours?
I have thought about this long and hard and I don’t think I have one. Maybe those around me will know otherwise..
What do you do every single day?
Drink coffee – my life’s staple. I have also found that breathing comes in handy.
His Key Advice:
- Travel and experience new cultures, don’t just ‘holiday’
- There are more words than we will ever use, so get your dictionary out and expand your vocabulary today!
- Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything
- Learn something new every day
Alan shares his life across Facebook, and sometimes on Instagram. You can follow him if you want to see more of his wisdom and share in his adventures.