To get you into the right mood for Easter, some interesting insights to help you look on the bright side:
Most of us will know that Easter celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection. But where do the bunnies and Easter Eggs come from? It appears that the pagans are involved (yet again!) The Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring was called Eostre, and she had a Hare as her companion, which symbolised fertility and rebirth. This Hare laid eggs (strange mammal) and the egg was understandably held as a symbol of life and re-birth (Spring). This had natural links to resurrection. It is believed that Christians and Pagans decided to get the Pagan celebration of Spring (Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere of course) and the resurrection of Jesus into one single event. Hence Eostre eventually became Easter in English (take note that I am being simplistic here!)
The timing of Jesus's resurrection, though, is a complicated business. Why is the date of Easter always different? Christian churches in the West (as opposed to Orthodox Christians who use a different calendar) celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal (or Spring) equinox (an equinox is when the plane of the Earths equator passes through the centre of the Sun, resulting in day and night being of equal length all over the planet.) The Spring Equinox (Autumn Equinox for us!) is the 21st March each year (our Spring Equinox - Autumn for the Northern Hemisphere - is the 23rd September.) So Easter can be celebrated anytime between the 22nd March and 25th April
More on how to get more done by working less (we all want that!) And this is important at Easter because it is meant to be a holiday - even the shops are closed for 2 days (and that tradition will eventually stop too!) Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is the author of a book called Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less - something we should all be interested in reading. He was interviewed by The Guardian in January - an excellent introduction. Read the article here and then practice smelling the flowers some more!
I often talk about the importance of defining and analysing problems before trying to throw solutions all over the place. Finding root causes and taking actions to solve them will always be more effective than throwing solutions at symptoms and fires. Brian Tracy has put together a very useful model in his most recent book Get Smart. He describes the three ways to examine a situation or problem in order to ensure you make the best decision:
Long Time Perspective versus Short Time Perspective. The very act of thinking long term sharpens your perspective and dramatically improves the quality of your short-term decision making
Slow Thinking. Getting out of Reactive Mode. "The very act of stopping to think before you say or do anything almost always improves the quality of your ultimate response." It is an indispensable requirement for success. I couldn't have put it better myself!
Informed Thinking versus Uninformed Thinking. "Beware of endeavouring to be a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in ten thousand may succeed: these are fearful odds.” Benjamin Disraeli. This is about Due Diligence. Taking the time to make the right decision. Using the information that is available. Ignore it at your peril, but don't spend the rest of your life just thinking. Sooner or later the informed thinking will suggest the right decision. Make it!
Happy Easter. Stay dry and safe. Be focused and don't eat too much chocolate (defining "too much" will vary between us all, but to me too much chocolate is when it runs out!)