Me and my inner Scot

The highlight of my speaking gig this week on board the cruise ship Aurora was getting to meet and spend time with the author Maria Nemeth. I realised half way through our first conversation that I had read her book The Energy Of Money a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact as we talked I downloaded her other book Mastering Life’s Energies on the Kindle app and am reading it now.

Maria is one of those wonderfully intense Californian women who take themselves and you very seriously because they have spent a long time thinking very hard about the sort of stuff most of us gloss over or take for granted. She is also a very close listener and it is disconcerting to have someone listen to you as hard as she does. It is so unusual.

During the course of our first conversation I came out with my usual one liner about not feeling Scottish any more. She responded by saying “Of course you are Scottish. What is wrong with being Scottish? Why are you resisting that part of you? What are you hiding from?” I did my best to make light of it during the rest of our conversation – we bantered about my “inner Scot” who I imagined as a grumpy wee troll with red hair and a tartan tam o’ shanter – but she had really got to me. Not so much about the Scottish bit but the way I can define myself by my resistance to things and why this is so. Whether it is religion or IT, those who read this blog will have seen me shape myself by the strength of my reaction to these two groups, and some of you will no doubt have winced to watch me do so.

Given that I was on the boat to talk to The IT Directors’ Forum and to write my book I went back to my cabin in an existential funk struggling to think clearly about what I was trying to say, to whom, and why. This was a good thing. Thanks Maria!

7 thoughts on “Me and my inner Scot

  1. I know what you mean. For years now I've described myself as Lancashire Scottish. There are brilliant Scots all over the world, and the only time I feel anti Scottish is when I go to Glasgow.

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  2. I have always liked your inner Scot – ironic – self deprecating – piss taking – not establishment – tough minded and really "inner" warm, generous and loving to those you trust

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  3. I was really struck by what you said about being defined by what you are anti. I have to say as much as I enjoy reading your musings and as much as I know you are a good person, often you deliver, to borrow a topical note, with the religious zeal of someone expecting the Rapture more than someone trying to lead the flock. Perhaps there are enough flock leaders or perhaps there aren't enough people been chastised, but I think more often you are sharing your frustration with those that you are paid to engage with through your postings. Clearly the establishment needs to be challenged and characters like yourself are doing it in a charming yet uncompromising way, which is always to be respected.

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  4. Thanks Bob. Yes if I get frustrated it is invariably on behalf of my clients.The uphill struggles and emotional bruising many of them suffer come with the territory but doesn't make it any easier.Or maybe it was just having a Mum who was an elder in The Church Of Scotland and a Dad who was a director of IT ……?;-)

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  5. Listening is something I struggle with and always enjoy it and usually learn something when I do….in terms of grass roots stuff…I had occasion to go to the Dentist a couple of weeks ago which is still on my home turf, South London in Peckham and the dentist had cause to look through my history of over a decade and asked, "Why are you still coming here since you live…there…" And I replied without thinking, "it keeps me grounded"…I have thought about this since and never want to forget roots from whence I started.My step mother is from Glasgow and has lived down South for much of her life and I love this about her…Your sharing provide so much food for thought…thanks Euan

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