Choose to Live life

So often we rush through life not paying attention to how we live it. We rush from one situation straight into the next circumstance.

Why not take a moment today just to stop and choose how you will live today? We might not be able to choose our mood, but we can choose our attitude. How is your attitude to life today?

Partnership & perseverance move mountains (or fridges!)

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’. We all have complex issues facing us in our workplace or in our business. Life can be full of the immovable!

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 rocked it and tried to walk 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.

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?

 

I have a dream you can’t let go of

I woke up this morning with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in my head.

What would’ve happened if Dr King had not pursued the dream?

What would’ve happened if he listened to those around him who said ‘its too big a dream to achieve’?

What would’ve happened if He just stayed silent?

I’ll tell you what would’ve happened:

Equality today would look less equal!

Humanity would feel less human!

Dr King would have lived an ordinary life.

Why settle for ordinary when you can live your dream? Whatever the dream, if it benefits others – hold it, live it, and word to make it a reality.

Self care – the art of burning brightly

This morning I had the privilege of participating (gatecrashing!!) a Twitter conversation on the subject of ‘self care’. Too many of us care for others and neglect ourselves in the process. We end up tired, taken for granted, or at worst… burnt out!

We are not meant to burn out in the pursuit of supporting, teaching and blessing others – we are meant to burn on and burn brightly like twinkling stars lighting the way on a cold dark night.

During the conversation I came up with the following ‘loose’ idea of what self care might look like:

S:upported

E:xercise

L:ifelong-learning

F:uel your soul

C:areful choices

A:rtistic expression

R:hythm of life

E:at healthy

What else could’ve been included in looking after ones’ self?

What does self care look like for you?

Do you look after your own self?

Why is self care important?

Put your own ideas and thoughts in the comments below.

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.

One Good Thing

Every now and again we all get down in the dumps with life, relationships, work or even hobby interests. It can be so easy at times to slip into a negative spiral of toxic thinking – we are only human after all!!

So when (not if!) you get into that down time how do you get out of it? (you might wish to share your ideas in the comments section below?)

One of my favourite things to do is as follows:

I remind myself of ‘one good thing’ that is not negative

This might seem like a small thing, and you’re right it is: but often it is the one small thing that can make the biggest difference. I have many “one good things” that I remind myself of:

  • My Grandfathers’ advice to count my blessings
  • My grandfather dancing a silly dance
  • My children and wife – they are my reason for working hard
  • The North star on a dark cloudless night
  • a recent success at work
  • A recent personal breakthrough

The list could go on.

When we begin to recall that one good thing it’s amazing how many one small things come to mind. These can lift our spirits and help us to begin raising our hearts and heads and holding them up high.

So, what is your ‘one good thing’? Feel free to comment below – you may name that one small thing that lifts another readers head and heart to look once again into the warmth of the shining sun.