Life lessons from our feline friends

International Cat Day, a celebration that takes place on August 8 every year was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Every sensible person knows that cats run the interweb thingy but did you know that cats sleep for 70% of their lives and one ran as mayor of Mexico City? The Downing Street cats are famous and take care of the really serious work at the Treasury, Foreign Office and Cabinet Office, with a cohort of ambassacats around the world.

Cats are good for your mental health. A study, by the charity Cats Protection, of more than 600 cat and non-cat-owners (with half attesting to mental health problems) found that 87% of feline lovers saw looking after a cat as having a positive impact on well-being. It’s true that looking after any pet is good for you but there is something about the frequency at which a cat purrs that is particularly relaxing.

life lessons

The other really noticeable thing about cats is that they are generally very self-sufficient, so 10Eighty decided to draw some life lessons from the feline world:

  • Aim high – cats are not tall but they can jump so high that the most trained athletes would be astonished aback – most domestic cats can typically jump up to 6 times their own height. No excuses, if you put your mind to it you can do If you are serious about career success then you need to step up, take your chance to shine and show management that you are confident and capable.
  • Take care of those who take care of you – cats hold people who feed and take care of them in high regard. Don’t let pressure of work cut you off from your friendships; people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.
  • Live in the moment – a cat lives its life without stress and has mastered the art of simplicity. Connect to the present moment and banish stress from your workspace, try meditation. Aim for 15-20 minutes a day, but try to integrate it into everyday life. You can meditate at your desk, in a meeting or going home on the tube.
  • Learn to let go – move on from mistakes, learn from them but don’t obsess over them. Cats do not dwell on their mistakes. Watch a cat and learn how to delegate, but don’t micro-manage as then you stifle creativity, innovation and the autonomy and courage that allows a team to thrive.
  • Be nimble – in the modern workplace you need to be versatile, resilient, agile and able to adapt quickly to new situations and technological change. Success depends on innovative thinking and knowledge sharing, as employees we need to learn to handle ambiguity so we are able to rise to a challenge and perform effectively and productively.

Power naps

Oh, and have a cat nap – a cat will be so happy if you curl up and snooze the day away with them. Not that what you want is top of the cat’s list of priorities, Higgs who runs this author’s household likes to sleep on the laptop when I’m trying to work; it’s nice and warm and it always gets my full attention.

If you need a break a short nap can be refreshing and set you up to tackle your work with renewed vigour. According to the BBC, in Japan dozing in meetings is apparently a sign of status to show off how hard you work. Some bosses are even said to fake it in order to eavesdrop on indiscreet employees – and the employees fake indiscretions to humour them!

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.

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