So, I've just got off a call with my coach. During the call we were getting clear on what we want to achieve in the next year but before we did that we reflected on the year just gone. As I went through, reflecting on what had been some of my biggest challenges I realised just how much I had overcome in the last year. I've moved across the country, started a new job and have built up a new friendship group in a city where I only knew two people when I moved here. I've traveled across the country 10 times this year to continue the work I was doing before I left. And I once again completed a firewalk. At times I felt very alone, overwhelmed and exhausted.
A little later on the call we had to reflect on our biggest accomplishments. Yes all those things were challenging. And they were also my greatest accomplishments. I grew in confidence, I really felt outside of my comfort zone for most of the year and there were times when I didn't know how I was going to keep going with a smile on my face. I often wanted to pack up and go back to where I had come from. And now, one year later, I can see all the gifts.
So, as we near the end of the year I would encourage you to do a similar thing. Think about your greatest challenges over the last 12 months. And then think about your greatest accomplishments. You might find, like I did, that the list looks very similar. I felt rather proud looking at the list.
I'm not sure that I could have done it without all my wonderful family, friends (old and new) and of course my coach. I'm really glad I have these people on my team as I move forward in to the new year with a whole list of big, bold goals. I'd love to hear your experiences of what has happened in your last year. Comment and share and let's cheer each other on.
How good are you at 'going with the flow?' I can tell you it's the greatest place to be. I can also tell you it can be scary. It is often unpredictable, frightening and unsettling. Going with the flow is not a guarantee of peace and harmony that many people think it is. It is a place where change can be rapid and what seemed certain is suddenly not.
It is also a place where if you can maintain a curious mind and be open to the new experiences, your life will be far better than you imagined. The human condition is one that seeks security but gets bored with it too. We all at some stage have a craving for more excitement.
You can read more about this in our newsletter that went out to members here.
So be flexible, and look for the blessings and the lessons in everything. Even that which seems difficult is some of our greatest.
Recently i had the great pleasure to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon doing not much of anything. A friend and I headed east in the car, found a winery, had a cheeseboard for lunch and some great conversation. We then headed back towards home but didn't want the day to end, so ended up at a country hotel, laying in the sunshine, listening to the band. It's amazing how relaxed and recharged you feel after spending time with someone doing not much at all. And the great conversations that are had. I recently wrote about conversations in our newsletter. You can read it here.
Tony Robbins is probably the greatest coach in the world. I was listening to one of his videos recently and he was explaining the fundamentals of leadership. This is what they are.
So today, tomorrow, this week. create a better world for yourself by following theses three steps. And make a way to improve your life. A true leader will either make a way or find one to have a life they love and that serves others as well.
Happy action taking!
Til next time
The photo of the door in this blog was taken on a recent holiday in Bali. It was a large door at the front on a home.
I remember when I was much younger reading a book by W Clement Stone. He states that big doors swing on little hinges. And when i look at a door now I remember that quote. A door can be very large and heavy and yet the hinges can be small and seemingly insignificant.
I believe that we are all hinges. We can make things happens. And there are things that will never happen without us doing our bit. I would encourage you to always see yourself as a hinge. You can move things and overcome things that seem much larger than you. None of your attempts are in vain.
So this week, get out there are swing some doors.
Have a great week.
til next time
Life can be frustrating at time but it doesn't have to be that way. We feel frustrated or become angry when either we are not getting something we want OR we are getting something we don't want. Think about that for a moment.
If you would like to read more you can here
When we let go of expectations and allow life's rhythm to keep us open to opportunities we instantly begin to feel more gratitude. My hope for you is that you feel grateful for everything you have. Even the events that don't seem positive in our lives are helping us to shape and learn more and more about our strengths and capabilities.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Imagine this, your partner comes home from work every day and tells you about all the idiots they have to work with, everything that went wrong and all the problems they are facing on a daily basis at their job. The whole time they are conveying this to you they are feeling all those feelings that go along with those negative conversations. After a period of time they only have to look at you and they feel those things.
Many relationships break down over time because the people in them do not know that what they are feeling while talking to and looking at someone is just as important as what they are saying and the tone that they use.
Now I have had people tell me that relationships are about sharing the good and the bad. That is true yes, however, if someone is stuck in a negative space and share that with their partner all the time, where are the good conversations? Where are the exciting conversations/ Where are the loving conversations?
So I would challenge you, if you are having a bad day at work (or wherever you spend your time) do not always come home and dump all that negativity on your partner. You will come to associate them with those negative conversations and they will come to dread you coming home because they know there will be no good news. Make the time to dream, set goals, discuss desires and share good things with one another and take the work frustrations out somewhere else. The gym is a good place to start. Get that negative stuff out of your system.
I would love to know what you think.
When I was a child, my Uncle Roy had a funny little ornament of a man with a plaque on the bottom that said - "Be sure mouth is engaged before putting mouth in gear". Although I did not understand what that meant at the time, I have learned they are very wise words indeed. There was a time when I would just say what I thought. After all, that is part of being authentic right? I have since discovered that not everything I think has value for myself or those around me and some thoughts are better kept quiet. If someone asks for my advice I may give it but I no longer feel the need to speak out loud almost everything I think.
Until we learn to think about our thoughts rather than speak them all out loud, we are at the mercy of emotions. As we develop greater control of our thinking and our emotions, we also develop less need to 'help' others by offering up advice or opinions to them. This ability to perceive and manage both ours and others emotions is commonly called Emotional Intelligence.
According to Salovey and Mayer, who have been the leading researchers in emotional intelligence since the 1990's, there are four branches that make up emotional intelligence. These are:
Many people may have heard me speak of earth families, birth families and others. You may have heard others speak of people coming into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
While we all have a family of origin, they are not always the family that we turn to for support, fun, to share good news or bad news or choose to spend our social time with. Earth families are the support that we create around ourselves as we grow older. While birth families are important, they ensure we arrive on the planet, birth families allow us the space and the support to grow.
For some people, earth families and birth families are the same. For others birth families and earth families are quite different and they may have little to do with their birth families. I am part of the latter group. Not because I am not grateful for my birth family, I am, but because I have no history with them. I was estranged from them at a young age and so created a new support network.
The others I speak of are those people who are acquaintances. We may meet them through our job or in our daily lives. Never underestimate your power in that situation to make someone else's life better. Go through life with a smile and share your joy of living with the world. Be grateful for everyone that you meet. For some people that may be the only time they are acknowledged.
If you would like to read the newsletter that I wrote on earth families, click here . If you like our newsletter please subscribe and make sure you never miss another one.
To hear an interview I did on radio last year click here
Some days i just cannot get my act together. Other days planning and organizing come much more easily. I have worked out that i can make things easier for myself if I do a few things. So here is my list of the top 5 things that help me get and stay focussed.
1. Eat well - I find if i eat food that is rubbish, I feel rubbish. I feel sluggish, tired and unable to focus. On the other hand, if I eat fresh, clean food, my brain thanks me by being clear and focussed.
2. Exercise - When I have done some excersize everything seems brighter, easier and more do-able than before. This year I made a commitment to myself to excersize more and those days I achieve more in every area.
3. Drink plenty of water - Sometimes our lack of focus is because we are dehydrated. The days when I don't drink enough water, I mentally drift off all over the place. I think the rule is 30mls of water for every kilo that you weigh. That means if you weigh 70kgs, you should be drinking a little over two litres per day.
4. Debate - If there is no-one else around and you are trying to plan and organise something, talk it out with yourself. Debate the pros and cons of decisions and changes that you want to make. You can do this verbally or on paper.
5. Know when to down tools - there may be days when the most productive thing you can do is to do nothing. This might be a bit harder if you work for someone else but keep in mind the leading cause of workplace absences is stress. If you are trying to push yourself and it just is not working, take yourself to a different environment or do something else. Your brain will still be working on the solution even while you are not focussing on it.
I would love to hear your tips for staying focused when you don't feel like it.
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.