Be an encourager

There’s a guy in the bible called BARNABAS – he had a great reputation. Why? Because he was a great encourager.

To encourage someone us to give them strength and courage. It is to lift them up.

How can we encourage those around us?

Here’s three ideas:

1. Pray for them

2. Help them practically

3. Give them your time and positive words

What are some other ways can we be great encouragers?

Mindful Reflection

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It’s that day of the year again: you know the one where we think back and look forward?!

Reflecting back is great, and helpful, and we ought to do it more. Looking back is NOT about living in the past – it IS about learning from the past in order to move forward today.

As we reflect on this year, what learning can we share with others for the coming year?

Happy New Year

Stuart

The Value of following a Life Vision

Image result for life vision

There are many benefits of having a life vision and knowing what progress you want to make. Here are seven benefits of having Vision for your life or organisation:

  • It focuses your attention on what is important
  • It helps us to persevere when the going gets tough
  • It clarifies our lives and defines who we are
  • It enables us to say “No” when other things are outwith our purpose
  • It helps us to develop confidence, competence and excellence
  • It yields fruit – we reap the benefit and achieve!
  • It makes life more meaningful, which in turn makes us happier people!

Perhaps you have never thought about having a vision for your life: There’s no day like today to start dreaming, daring and doing!

THERE’S NO DAY LIKE TODAY TO START DREAMING, DARING AND DOING!!!

Three Tips for Moving the Immovable

The fridge stood in the middle of the room where the delivery guy had left it. It was huge! I unfortunately am not huge. How on earth would I move this fridge?

We’ve all had days like this: days when there’s something in our lives that appear to be immovable. It might be a big white fridge,  a debt, or a housing issue. We each have our own ‘barriers to progression’ or ‘monsters to fight’.

But back to the fridge…

So my fridge was intimidatingly large standing there in the middle of the room. I decided to start trying to move it. Sometimes you just need to make a start.

Sometimes you just need to make a start!
I pushed and pulled; I walked it and…I began to move it! Making a start on something is always the first step to moving the problem. But I got tired. My muscles ached. My hands got sore. My mind began telling me I couldn’t shift it. I needed help!
Sometimes you just need to ask for help!
I asked for help. A friend came round and moving the big white fridge became easier. I still felt the weight of it, but it became manageable and movable.

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But what if we hadn’t been able to move the fridge? We couldn’t just leave it in the middle of the room. We would have kept on trying until that fridge was moved, plugged in, and working as it was designed to work. We would have persevered!
Sometimes you just need to persevere!
We all have the metaphorical fridge in the middle of the room. Who can you help today to move theirs?
Stuart originally posted a version of this on http://www.riponymca.org

Persevere

perseverence

I have been thinking about this a lot recently: PERSEVERANCE. Even the word sounds difficult… Perseverance. Sometimes life will get difficult – severely difficult. Life does not care about whether you can cope or not – it will continue to throw curve-balls at you. It will continue to test you to see what you are made of.

We only really need to persevere when life is a struggle – perseverance is not required when life is going well.

I have found this recently. The past few months have been very testing: I’ve had to work hard at relationships when they have been strained; I’ve gone through organisational restructure at work, and reapplied for my job (thankfully, with success); I’m writing the dissertation to my Masters programme and it is a drain on my energy, but…

…I keep on going. This is the nature of perseverance: we keep on keeping on despite the difficulties!

When you persevere you find that you have more strength than you previously thought you had.

When you keep on going you develop mental toughness and strengthen your resilience.

Persevering makes you STRONGER, and that in itself is a great motivation for persevering.

2 Steps to taking control of your own life

In this post I want to provide you with two simple, but not simplistic steps to taking control of your own life.

1. The first is to grow in self awareness.

It is not possible to take control of your own life without being at least a little self aware. self awareness is being awake to yourself. It is knowing what you feel and what you think at any given moment. This is not an easy thing to do! It is difficult to be aware of your emotions and thoughts 24/7 – but it is also not impossible.

Some writers would have us believe that we need to be TOTALLY self aware, but this ties us up in an all or nothing way of being (and this is a goal that is too out of reach) – we need to start where we are and grow from there.

Exercise:

Take a moment to stop right now: think about how you feel emotionally right now in this moment. How are you feeling? Is your heart beating fast or soft? What words or pictures are filling your mind right now? Allow yourself to observe your own thoughts and feelings.

Are you surprised by what you think and feel?

Are you learning anything about how you think or feel?

Do you often think and feel what you do in this moment?

Doing an exercise like this may help you to understand and know yourself better. Try this as often as you can in the next few weeks – see what you might learn about yourself.

2. Take Responsibility for your Growth:

When we are aware of our thoughts and feelings we are in a place where we can take responsibility for them. Our thoughts and feelings feed our actions. When we are aware of these we are in a stronger position to choose how to act. Do you ever lose your temper quickly?- perhaps this is the result of not knowing your thoughts and feelings before you act.

Responsibility could be describes as the ability to respond appropriately to a given situation or scenario. More on this in the next blog post. Until then, may you grow in awareness of your thoughts and emotions in order to grow as a person and enjoy life to the full.

Progress

I recently watched “The Lone Ranger” (the recent Disney movie). There is frequent use of the phrase “the age of progress”. The movie is set in America during a time of great change – the railroad is about to open up new business markets as it creates lines throughout the vast country! Progress is here to stay! As with any time of progress there were those who were cynical and sceptical, as well as those who were literally jumping on the band-wagon.

Change.

Progress.

These two words have a beautiful link to one another – like a double helix. Change requires progress to be made – you cannot have one without the other. Whether we are considering Organisational Change (OC) or making personal changes we need to know what progress is required. Change needs a direction! It needs a vision of the future to drive it forward into the brave new world!

In this context progress is VISION. It is seeing the future you desire. Vision inspires and enthuses us. It helps us to stay on track when we feel like giving up.

Coaching for progress

Progress requires us to stop and think about what we want. It causes us to list our desired future state and to articulate it in simple terms. You should be able to see the progress you would like to make. Perhaps you are reading this thinking “but I have no idea what progress I need or want to make!” You are not alone! Most of us struggle to know where we are heading next.  This is why coaching is a helpful process. Coaching allows us to process our thoughts and feelings and to channel our time and energy into understanding ourselves in a way that makes the future easier to comprehend

The Value of Understanding Vision

There are many benefits of having a life vision and knowing what progress you want to make. Here are seven benefits of having Vision for your life or organisation:

  • It focuses your attention on what is important
  • It helps us to persevere when the going gets tough
  • It clarifies our lives and defines who we are
  • It enables us to say “No” when other things are outwith our purpose
  • It helps us to develop confidence, competence and excellence.
  • It yields fruit – we reap the benefit and achieve!
  • It makes life more meaningful, which in turn makes us happier people!

Perhaps you have never thought about having a vision for your life: There’s no day like today to start dreaming, daring and doing!

THERE’S NO DAY LIKE TODAY TO START DREAMING, DARING AND DOING!!!