Ponder, and plan

I am so excited about the future; as we bring 2013 to a close and push into a new year, I’m already thinking about what kind of things I would like to see in my life, in 2014. I wonder if you’ve started thinking about next year, or if you are currently focussed on the current project, or moment in time. Whilst it’s good to be able to live in the present, I also believe it’s good to have one eye on your dream, and be working daily towards achieving success in both. 

There is so much opportunity, but living in London it’s easy to become consumed with ‘chasing ones tail’ so to speak, and filling time with everything and anything. I’m now learning to spot the trend and excuses that have kept me from fulfilling some of my goals, and I’m glad to be sharing this thought with you today that will hopefully help you avoid similar pitt holes. 

1. Never dwell on the past – simply learn from your mistakes, and make the adjustments. If you’ve taken something on that has overwhelmed you, or hasn’t turned out quite as you expected, then see it as a learning curve and move on. 

The greatest failure is the one who experiences a fall, but never gets back up. 

2. Live with your purpose in mind – It’s way too easy to become consumed by all kinds of useless facts. Living with your dream, or vision in mind, I believe, is the key to achieving.

“A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past.”

3. Value time – This links in with the previous to points, but I find that I need to be reminded of this often. We have enough time to do what we need to do, but we also have ample opportunity to get distracted and to waste the time that we have. It’s important to take time to think about what we’re spending our time on, who with, and where it’s leading us. 

Time is a currency that we can’t exchange, so spend it wisely.

We could have been anything that we wanted to be; and still can!

Some cheesy inspiration from an old classic. If you read any of my posts you will know that I like to challenge us to think big. In light of my recent relocation I am reminded by this wonderful clip that we can be anything we want to be, and that we will be remembered for the things that we say and do. What do you want to be remembered as, and what do you want to be remembered for?

What London and life is teaching me

It’s official I’ve finally made the leap out of the country and into the city; from Glasgow to London to be precise. I’ve been horrendously bad at blogging over the past… cough… Two months; but with good reason. All that shuffling and waffling aside, it’s safe to say I have now arrived in London and as a new member of this big, bold and beautiful city I would like to document some of the harsh but priceless life lessons this new chapter has already served up.

1. Life is precious and must be treasured

In the three short weeks that I’ve been here I’ve witnessed a man being knocked down by a bus, (literally two feet from my side) and as my feet were forced to jump and skip over the debris, my heart raced with fear and distress of what I had just witnessed. Today, it happened again as I witnessed a man collapse at a bus stop in Shepherds Bush. When you’re forced to face moments like these you get a wake up like no alarm or sugarcoated motivational speech can provide. Life is precious and instead of beating around the bush, playing at relationships, living in a place of unhappiness, or working a job that you don’t enjoy we must learn to value and appreciate the time we have and the people in our world that really matter.

2. Time is the currency of life

Through personal experience I have come to the conclusion that if someone doesn’t value my time, then they don’t really value me: irrespective of how much I may like or appreciate them. Who we spend our time with, and what we spend our time doing is either adding or subtracting from our life. There’s a song in Avenue Q, which I saw last week at the Edinburgh Fringe festival that says, ‘there’s a fine line between love and a waste of time.’ To put this in context this was about relationships, but I believe that it can also apply to other areas of life.

3. History repeats itself unless we change the record

To write for me is to breathe, and often I spend the majority of my time writing about my own observations in the hope that someone else may benefit. In doing so I often find that there are threads of familiarity that run through each post I write, which bugs me ever so slightly – It’s also part of the reason I haven’t written a post in while, out of a desire to bring something fresh. If we never step out and try something new, or face up to the opportunity failure has to offer, then how can we expect our lives to be anything more than what it is right now. Even if everything is great right now, life is full of peaks and troughs and it would be foolish to ignore the reality that surrounds us.

 

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Holding life lightly

In the absence of blogging life has been teaching me a fair few tricks, hints, and lessons. I’ve been relentlessly applying to jobs, setting objectives, goals and doing everything I can to move towards them, whilst being party planner and bridesmaid to a lifelong friend.

I find every day is different in someway, with one challenge, or another; but above the confusion, toil and turmoil I have come to understand that to achieve success in any area of life it is good to hold life lightly.

If you hold on to a career, a relationship, or even something as materialistic as a car, then you run the risk of loosening the very thing you desire. Most of the motivational and leadership chat that I’ve heard seems to be focused on pushing people up a hill, but I want to suggest that there is not one reason for failure, but many. Most of the motivational and leadership chat that I’ve heard seems to be focused on pushing people up a hill,You can do nothing, and get nothing, or you can do everything and still get nothing. How is this possible? Well, obsession to always achieve, or win is equally bad as doing nothing to obtain the dream in your heart. Many hands make light work, but much work make light hands. In other words, the more you fill your time with stuff the weaker you become. People mistake busyness as a sign of strength, or achievement; but it’s not. It is only when we strike balance between hard work, and margin do we find ourselves in the slip stream of life.

Whatever you do today, make sure you take a moment to stop and enjoy what you have in your hand. It’s good to take stock, and don’t lose sight of what you do have on the way to where you’re going.

The oyster and the pearl

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I stumbled across a website called How Stuff Works, which explains how pearls are formed in the Oyster to produce the beautiful pearl that is etched onto our chains, earrings and bracelets. I have mentioned the story before, in brief, but being the curious kitten that I am I have delved a little deeper in my research, whilst going through some changes and circumstances in life. First, let me paint the background picture to this post.

“The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. So a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewelry stores are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape — these are called baroque pearls. Pearls, as you’ve probably noticed, come in a variety of various colors, including white, black, gray, red, blue and green. Most pearls can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.”

Whilst growth takes place within, notice that it requires an external substance to influence and irritate the organ that produces change. 1. Growth is dependent on our environment 2. Growth is never comfortable Being the reflective soul that I am, and in the process of packing for London, I would like to share a few thoughts today about pearls, growth and change. It’s a bit of a deep topic today, but if you are growing a team, a business, or your own life, then hopefully you will find this useful. If not, come back again soon and I’ll muster you up something a little less meaty.

My good friend pointed out in a conversation that we  are a generation that when something doesn’t work, we throw it out, or trade it in and buy new. Where as the previous generation, baby boomers and above, grew up in a culture that when things didn’t work, they fixed them; she got me thinking…It’s easy to dismiss situations in life when things don’t go our way, or it turns out to look different from our preconceived idea. For example, a business venture that didn’t work, or a relationship that required work, or project that turned out different than what you anticipated.

It’s inevitable that in life we will experience change, and lots of it. When I think back to what it was like growing up through childhood in a rush to experience adulthood, celebrating every inch of growth with a competition between friends. The irony is that when we finally reach adulthood we often find that we don’t like the responsibilities that come with it. If we don’t allow our businesses, or our teams to adapt to the change in the market, or make room for our digital and tech savvy culture, then we limit our effect as a business.  If we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool, and never take a chance in life after listening the bad news reports all day, filling us with fear, then we would miss out on the beauty that life has to offer. Change is readily avoided and resisted by many human beings, and as a result they become stagnant and malnourished, when in fact change is an opportunity for growth.  

You’ve got talent; use it.

If you haven’t witnessed Jack Carroll yet, let me introduce you…

I love when he said; “In comedy, a lot of the time, you’re weaknesses are your strengths.” I believe this is true for many areas in life; that every hardship, difficulty, and disappointment in life can be turned to work itself back together for our good.

This got me thinking on how knowing your strengths as an individual, as a business, or even as a brand is crucial to achieving good success. Whilst good success is great, and many people subscribe to the dream of obtaining good success; very few are aware, or go after great success. There is a difference:

To obtain good success you must have some awareness of the value you hold, but to achieve great success you must understand how to use it, and use it effectively. …Just like Jack.

 

 

The tell tale signs of a girls diary

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Being the writer that I am, I have many notepads, books, pens and a whole cupboard filled with diaries through-out my life. I am forever being mocked, and continue to this day being known for my stationery filled handbag – you never know when or where my next idea will strike, and I like to be prepared for all eventualities. The only discrediting thing here is that whilst I have a vivid and long record of my life up until this point. Through the countless number of pages about heartache, disappointments, dreams, and a lot of other exciting events. I am troubled that I rarely go back and revisit them, which probably tells me that I write to process my thoughts; but still, I am fully aware of gems that I will hold in these very pages. There must be at least five stories about boys that I’ve had crushes on, and the drama that followed when the boy didn’t like me back, or I couldn’t bring myself to tell him.

Come on, we’ve all had them!My point in sharing such a cringing fact is that I know there are lessons to be learnt from these pages, and I know that I have made similar mistakes before, which at the time seemed like a great idea… I just don’t understand why I don’t go back and read them.

Anyway, I digress. The reason for tonight’s post is to beg the question that whilst I seem to have an exceptional memory that doesn’t need reminding of past events, or lessons. There is the odd moment in time when I flick back through the overflowing pages of my pink papered diary – nearing the end of this month’s book – to notice only the change of pen colour, and sporadic re-occurrence of a certain someone who appears to have found his way into my diary? Huh? I’m shocked, and intrigued… and a little horrified! What does this mean? How on earth could he have slipped my security tight radar, and made it into this treasured book? Alarm bells ring, as I look up in shock. This… This must be monitored!

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