Sometimes in life we need someone to point out to us our blindspots. Someone to motivate us and ensure we see things in different perspectives, someone who can possibly give us ideas on how to improve our performance, hence shortening our learning curve.That is what we all deserve.
I found this article useful and would like to share it again on here. It is a lovely reminder on staying positive even in times of trouble.
I Can’t See My Own Label from Inside The Jar.
What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognise it as such.
I would like to start by sharing my best poem ever, any friend of mine has heard this poem from time to time again.
A little about it, it is a poem we recited as kids, and I have to admit I don’t remember it all, let alone accurately.
However, the lesson in it has stood the test of time. And a massive lesson it is, one that follows me every day of my life.
“ Many people find it easy to be thankful when things go well;
But they find hard to be thankful when things go wrong.
They quickly forget their years of good health after a few days of illness;
They quickly forget their years of wealth after…”
I find it so powerful. Sorry if you were enjoying it. The rest of it is just meddled up in my head, so that is as far as I will chance it.
It is very easy to have a positive attitude if you realise that everything is all good.
And I mean including the bad stuffs.
There is abeautiful Japanese story of an old man that goes something like this.
There lived an old man called Sāi Wēng who raised horses for a living.
One day, he lost one of his prized horses.
After hearing of the misfortune, his neighbour felt sorry for him and came to comfort him.
But Sāi Wēng humbly replied,
“How could we know it is neither good nor bad for me?”
After a while, the lost horse returned and with another beautiful horse.
The neighbour came over again and congratulated Sāi Wēng on his good fortune.
But Sāi Wēng humbly said,
“How could we know it is neither good nor bad thing for me?”
One day, his son went out for a ride with the new horse.
He was violently thrown from the horse and broke his leg.
The neighbours once again expressed their condolences to Sāi Wēng, but Sāi Wēng simply said,
“How could we know it is a neither good nor bad thing for me?”
One year later, the Emperor’s army arrived at their small village to recruit all able-bodied men to fight in the war.
Because of his injury, Sāi Wēng’s son could not go off to war, and was spared from certain death.
If you are as tempted as I am let us humbly say it together, “How can we know it is neither good or bad…?
For us to appreciate the good things, we have to experience the bad ones too.
Optimistic people tend to live happier lives, this has been proven to be true.
Look for the good in all things just consider them as challenges with lessons in them.
A positive attitude has a lot of advantages;
Rather than complain, you will make use of your current challenges. You will make the most of it and learn from it knowing if you don’t the lesson will keep coming back to you until you do.
You will be more accepting of all your life lessons.
You won’t get stuck or feel stuck.
You will be accepting of your emotions (and of others hence flexing your empathetic side)
You will stop being judgemental of yourself (and of the people around you creating a relaxed and loving environment)
In conclusion, see good in all things even in the bad stuffs.
Do not worry yourself with what people think of you. It is very important to know the difference between your character and your personality.
You: I can’t see my own label from inside the jar. Can you tell me what it says?
Me: You are enough, what is written on the outside doesn’t matter, the inside is all that counts.
I would like to hear some of your stories, what are some of the things that you had to experience the opposite for you to appreciate them? Please leave a comment or send me an email, I promise to read them all.
Why Boundaries Matter and How to Build Your Self-Confidence.
“If you wish to be the king of the jungle,
It’s not enough to act like a king.
You must be the one & only king.
Sadly there can be no room for any form of doubt.
Because doubt causes chaos that leads to one’s own demise”
-From The Movie Gentlemen.
Can you picture the king of the jungle, The Lion asking its food, the deer, permission to eat it?
Hi, I am the king of the jungle, do you fancy being my dinner tonight?
Imagine the wonders we could do in our lives if we truly and fully believed in ourselves.
Most of us should be arrested for those things we tell ourselves. Sigh! Actually this should be made into a thing, like literally. Only joking!
This tip I am about to share, should do wonders in building your self-confidence, it will help you be the king of your jungle, jungle here being your environment.
You will have to learn the habit of addressing every nitty-gritty issues in your life.
Anything that constantly bothers you needs to be tackled head on and that is as soon as practically possible.
Those stuffs you treat as minute, as tiny, as unimportant, and you tell yourself “oh! it is ok it will go away. Oh! it doesn’t matter…”
…and opt to ignore, pushing it at the back of your mind…
NEWSFLASH! It tends to build up.
It totally matters.
It is not fair on you, neither is it fair on the people around you ignoring issues. They need to be tackled head on.
This basically means that, you should not tolerate negative remarks from people, however petty. It additionally means that, you should deal with those subtle digs, from friends and families whoever it is, there and then. Be what it may, do not bottle it.
Any confident person, or “big” person (notice the quotes), never tolerates or puts up with unpleasant behaviour from others. It is as simple as that. You can’t be confident and put up with crap, it just doesn’t work.
Put boundaries in place and see yourself keeping clean and crispy relationship, and hence, as a bonus, upping your confidence. Level it up!
Boundaries are good and healthy for your self-esteem and personal growth.
Put them in place and watch yourself transform.
Not that, if you do end up losing some people in your life from detoxing it, friends/family whatnot, then it is important, to remember, that they were just your energy drain. They are better off leaving your life.
Notice how much you have been putting up with in the name of being “nice” and/or playing “the good boy/girl?”
Write down the things you have been tolerating in others and start working on them.
Lives Petty Annoyance and Why We Should Get Rid of them.
Who remembers Captain Haddocks curses from TinTin?
I used to find it downright funny, still do.
But wait a minute, what are barnacles?
I don’t know whether you know or have heard of barnacles.
Barnacles are those little creatures that love living on the surface of sea vessels especially ships.
They are great on rocks but not on ships.
(Just to be specific, for those who love details, Barnacles, balanus glandula, are sticky little crustaceans related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimps)
They start as one then grow to be so many, eventually, they start weighing the vessel down,
According to NOAPP, “Large barnacle colonies cause ships to drag and burn more fuel, leading to significant economic and environmental costs. The U.S. Navy estimates that heavy barnacle growth on ships increases weight and drag by as much as 60 percent, resulting in as much as a 40 percent increase in fuel consumption!”
I know, right.
Grrh! The poor big ships have to be taken out of water to be scrapped off or painted with special paint.
Now do this, picture your life, like literally.
Have you got any petty annoyances?
For most of us most definitely, YES!
Petty annoyances are those tiny little things in a our lives that we tolerate but then eventually, sooner or later, they start draining our energy (reason why sometimes a lot of us procrastinate, story for another day).
It could be anything.
It could be that cupboard you keep saying, and mean to declutter or may be that button that fell off you’re lovely outfit, every time you want to look a million dollar, you pick it up, try it on but damn!
Every single time you pick it up, and remember that you can’t wear it unless you sort out, then get annoyed? Petty Annoyance!
I personally have a dress that I keep to date, it is too precious to bin and too annoying to keep. Blistering barnacles!
If you are like most of us, you find yourself creating a loop from hell. Pick it up, annoyed, put it back annoyed that you haven’t sorted it out. Then annoyed at yourself for being too lazy and too busy, yada! yada! yada!, you get it?
Petty annoyances could be anything.
So, here is your homework.
Write down a list of all your most petty ‘ignorable’ annoyances in your life, whatever it is. Be it that lightbulb you haven’t fixed, be it that broken chair, anything, all of it, write it down.
Then work through them steadily and see how much lighter you feel.
Don’t stress about those you can’t solve yet…
…or control if it involves changing other people or your environment.
If you need more help and information feel free to chat to us we have a lovely great team of dedicated individuals who will listen to you and try to help.
Today, I reflect on some of things I have learnt in the year of COVID-19 ( about myself, people and success)
Beauty is all around me.
Things change really fast.
Vulnerability is bravery.
People will disappoint you.
Energy vampires will suck you dry.
Know Your People.
Happiness is a choice.
Let Go, Let God.
Reflecting on this year is very funny to me, the things I have done, boy oh! boy…sigh*
No! Hold on a minute. My sigh is actually a positive one. I have done so many brave things that leave me in awe of myself.
Not a lot of people know this, not that it is a secret or anything, but I did lose my job recently. Yeah! I know.
My case wasn’t directly related to Corona pandemic or anything like that, however I would say it was influenced by it in some level.
I had planned to eventually leave anyway, only it came sooner than expected. What I admired about myself, is how I handled the whole situation positively.
You see, prior to the loss, I had already done things that I could never have dreamt of before, and I knew I had more to offer. I had just started a YouTube channel to encourage people during these times. Believe me when I say this, if there is anything scary I have ever done in my life, this was it for me. It is up there with visiting a snake park.
Before you dismiss my achievement, this is what you need to do, grab a camera and record yourself just speaking then share it with the world to scrutinise it. Try it. A part of me just felt silly, but the drive was greater, so it won.
Anyway, I can say with sound certainty, my year has fantastic.
I have achieved so much in this year than I have in that last 5 years put together. From back to back courses, started and competed, to website development, self-taught, to blogging for two sites a week…and counting.
Built my website from scratch, looks all right doesn’t it (for a learner) and, I am not done yet, another website coming, this time a friend’s. You can give me your orders. Joking!
Let us dive into those things I have learnt living in this changing world.
1. Beauty is all around me.
Beautiful things are right in front of me, but so are the ugly ones.
This is the universe maintaining its equilibrium.
I have culpability for my choices. I have to seek the wisdom of knowing which ones matter to me. Hence, I get to choose what to see and how to perceive it.
Being indoors a lot this year, left a lot of us feeling very vulnerable and possibly succumbing to depression.
Design your ideal life for 2021, go beyond what you believe are your limitations.
Decide what luxury and beauty is to you then surround yourself with it.
Spoil yourself on a shoestring, there is never a need to break the bank ever.
2. Things change really fast.
We saw how our world became so small and things affected us globally in minutes.You must have seen how fast the world changed into a new world. One minute, all we worried about was our bills, and the next was whether we remembered our masks.
We had no choice but to change with it or be left out.
Nothing is a constant, except for change. Change is inevitable.
Being rigid to change only encourages procrastination and stagnation. EVOLVE.
Never consider the negative always find something positive in every situation.
Life is all about perspective. When confronted with a negative situation dissect it seeking only the lesson it brings.
Knowledge is power. Being informed about situations diffuse them and we get deeper insights of what we are facing.
“ We too often cling to the past, just when vision is required of us. We liked our old comforts, failing to ever see they were inadequate and beneath our potential.
And so she uncertainty shifts the ground beneath us, we crouch and grab at the earth hoping for stability; or, we can leap and leap and land in a new and better spot.
Lift your eyes upward from all the trouble; look outward and forward and know that tomorrow’s expanding freedom is better than yesterdays’s stale certainties.
Do not cling. Do not fail to envision the good and remarkable future”
“The ocean doesn’t complain about the dance of ten million waves; so don’t be concerned with the rise and fall of thoughts.” Papaji
“Future-proofing your career is less about picking a safe job and more about constantly updating your skills throughout your career”-Joseph Aoun
3. Vulnerability is bravery.
Thanks to Brenè Brown who has taught us to be ok with being vulnerable.
Being brave, and its definition, is an individual thing. To some just stepping out for their weekly shopping during the pandemic was brave.
We are all different and that’s the beauty of it all.
Let us not be quick at judging others in instances when their choices are different from our own.
When we get to understand people we develop empathy.
“…the measure of a man (or woman), is how they treat someone who is of absolutely no use to them…”-Unknown.
We should befriend our fears, or at least fear nothing except fear itself to achieve dreams.
Being brave is also a choice like anything else. Choose courage.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”- Anais Nin.
4. People will disappoint you.
Of matters friends and family, this one is the trickiest. People will disappoint you, not once, not twice, and it is so disappointing (for lack of a synonym).
This is where we decide to either make peace with that fact or eliminate toxicity. There is no room in this modern would for toxic relationships. God help us all.
Set healthy boundaries. Without boundaries people will go overboard. (Learn more on my other article covering this in-depth )
Oprah Winfrey once said that, “When people show you the who they are the first time, believe them.”
In as much as we ought to love others, we also need to remember that we can love people but not like them. If they are not trying then you know what to do.
Forgive people for being people after all we are all humans we all have our faults.
5. Energy vampires will suck you dry.
People in our lives are a reflection of ourselves, sometimes showing us the things we don’t like about ourselves. But, we should be very wary of the people who drain us of our energies, our time, our money, they will take anything they can get away with.
Energy vampires are the type of people who leave you drained every time you have been around them or been in contact. These are the people that we found ourselves stuck with during the isolation and hence losing ourselves.
Choose your friends wisely.
Again as mentioned before, set boundaries, they help.
Your health is your wealth, whereby your health covers your mental wellbeing.
It is a waste of time trying to change people.
You are who you surround yourself with.
6. Know Your People.
Point 4, 5 and 6 are correlated.
It is important to know who would choose you to go to the desert with them. This is the person you want choose right back, cause you feel the same.
You both know, if incidentally, you ended up in the desert, you will have the best time regardless of the conditions there.
Do not spend your time, money (you don’t even have in the first place) etc trying to please people who would never do the same for you.
You are not everyone’s cup of tea.
“ The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, will simply not like you.
But the world is also filled with those who love you fiercely. The ones who love you: they are Your People.
Don’t waste your finite time and heart trying to convince the people who aren’t your people that you have value. They will miss it completely.
They won’t buy what you are selling. Don’t try to convince them to walk your path with you because you will only waste your time and your emotional good
health. You are not for them and they are not for you. You are not their cup of tea and they are not yours.
Politely wave them along and you move away as well. Seek to share your path with those who recognise and appreciate your gifts, who you are.
Be who you are.
You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that is OK”-Not Known
7. Happiness is a choice.
The pandemic had us stuck with ‘strangers’. People we only saw on our days off, yet some are actually family, our own flesh and blood. Awkward!
Happiness is a daily quest that we ought to decide to choose on a daily basis. There are lots of ways to ensure that happens.
For instance, we can play some musics, and/or dance, talk to people we love, meditate, whatever it takes.
“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”Dr. Wayne Dyer
Surrounding yourself with things that add joy to your life.
8. Let Go, Let God.
Simply let Go.
Pray for serenity. Let God teach you your part. Trust me it is so easy to play.
“We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how we respond.”-Arianna Huffington
“Step back. Allow things to unfold. There’s a beauty to be found in letting things be.” Tamara Levitt
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely you will have Complete Peace.”Ajahn
9. Give thanks.
In all things, give thanks.
Gratitude is everything, it is the antidote to most of our problems.
If we concentrated on things we are grateful for we will never be depressed, or compete with others, or even be jealous of them.
Practicing meditation, and just taking some time out to breathe in and out appreciating life transformed my life.
Gratitude can be practiced.
Give thanks in all things, there is always something.
Start with the small things and bigger ones will be added.
“What you appreciate, appreciates”
10. Love yourself
Above all things, love yourself.
Here we go, did you know that there is no one else who can love you, more than you can love yourself?
Self-love means you can love others easily without judgement.
With the quarantine, some of us found ourselves bearing our own company, it is hard if you didn’t already love yourself. Imagine how we hate being around people we don’t like only in this case that person is you. Aah!
Loving yourself attracts better things in life, if you don’t love yourself you attract people who will ill-treat you as you don’t now any better.
There are promises made for you, things you are already entitled to, with loving yourself you discover your self-worth and believe in your destiny.
Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself for your past wrongdoings and past choices. You have survived 2020 please! cut yourself some slack.
Self-love isn’t selfish at all. On the contrary, it is actually selfless.
Suggestion, can the person who said it is wrong to love oneself be shoot? Come on, Just kidding!
✅ Do you know the difference between money and wealth?
✅ Have you defined the role of money in your life?
✅ Do you feel financially secure?
I really hope this doesn’t come as a surprise but money and wealth are not entirely the same thing.
Your relationship with money defines how content you are in life.
If you are like most of people, then you probably also in the group that is fighting for different sameness. In this group it is all about working to earn money.
The irony of it all is that we have the same number of hours as Beyonce but yet what she earns in her 24 hours is totally different from what most of us do.
Today let us learn about Money, Wealth and Us.
Understanding money, wealth and our relationship with it can be a little complicated as it special like our fingerprints. How we react and handle money is more psychological than anything else, ut the good news is that even a negative relationship can be flipped.
My hope is that you have discovered by now that money and happiness are not correlated. Research has shown as time and time again that money doesn’t necessarily account for ones happiness. A research that was done with lottery winners documents that they reported profound unhappiness if that doesn’t speak volumes I really don’t know what does.
So, anyway, is money bad?
To answer that, reflect on these questions;
Have you defined the role of money in your own life?
Is your money for acquiring basic needs and essential items in your life?
Or is it for pleasurable desires? Or is it for status? Ego?
Comparing yourself to others…
The most definite way to make yourself unhappy is by comparing yourselves to your peers.
In this world of gadgets and fast internet it is almost impossible not to wonder how ‘the other half lives,’ but this is deterimental to our financial wellbeing.
Once you nail contentment, then you know to trust your journey and believe in our own true desires.
( By the way, have you ever thought of how funny it is that your peers are also probably comparing themselves to you?)
This Black Friday will have a lot of us spending money we don’t have for things we don’t need and for people we don’t like.
Stick to the plan and have financial ground rules, here are some tips and steps to take.
Guidelines to being financially healthy;
Be honest with yourself:
Lie to everyone if you have to but never to yourself. You are the only one who is really accountable for your actions and the one who has to face the consequences.
Get out of the denial, it will get you stuck.
If you have a problem accept and you will be on your way to recovery.
Work out your budget:
The more we earn the more we adjust to our new expensive lifestyle. Sometimes without even realising it, we find ways to justify our spendings. You must have heard people say, “Money is never enough”
What we actually need to do is have a budget and live by it. Religiously save for emergencies, which other hand should have been catered for. Once you know what money means to you and are honest with yourself then this becomes very easy.
To simplify the math your outgoings should not exceed your incomings. Spend less than you earn with a budget.
Martin Lewis of money saving expert has a mantra…
If you are not skint…
Is it worth it? Have you checked the prices elsewhere?
If the answer is no… DON’T BUY IT!
If you are skint…
Do I need it?
Can I afford it?
Have I checked the prices elsewhere?
If the answer is no, DON’T BUY IT!
Pay yourself first.
(A very tricky one if we are being honest here)
This is what sets the rich from the poor apart.
Do aim to save 10% of your income by paying yourself first. Trust me, it takes a lot of practice to remember that you come before your creditors and bills. Like everything else , practice makes perfect.
Once you nail it then you are on your way to financial freedom.
What are the steps to financial freedom and financial independence?
You are financially free and independent when you have consistent passive incomings than outgoings, simple and clear.
7 Steps to Financial Freedom
1. Set up automatic savings.
You need to make the switch from being a spender to a saver.
Do this by setting up automatic savings from your pay before it gets to your pocket.
Adjusting spending when you see that you don’t have any money left in your account will not cut to the chase.
It just never works. Saving what’s left over at the end of the month is game of cat and mouse.
Just pay yourself first, pay your creditors/bills after and now you can Black Friday the leftover.
Coined by Dave Ramsey, this method lists all your debts from smallest balance to biggest balance. Then pay them off from smallest in that order. The idea has a psychological benefit making it achievable for many.
With this, first pay off the debts with highest interest rate, get that out of the way, then to your lowest interest rate.
Of course you shouldn’t forget that you’ll have to make the minimum payment on all your other debts, but apply any extra money to the debt that is costing you the most.
Negotiate, as often as you can, with the credit card company for the lowest possible rate and consider getting a debt consolidation loan to reduce your interest rate.
3. Boost your emergency fund.
If there is anything 2020 has taught us is that we need to have an emergency fund in place.
(Have we learnt anything in these unprecedented times?)
Anyway, to be clear emergency fund’s goal is to help you reach financial freedom by having three (preferably six months) of living expenses in a savings.
Just a perfect cushion for those unexpected shocks such as losing your job (read COVID-19) or having an illness or injury.
You want to make sure you can cover your rent/mortgage and basic living expenses until your insurance takes over.
In the special case of having dependents or a family to look after, are self-employed etc you might want to increase that emergency fund to one to two years of living expenses.
4. Increase your savings.
Now that your high interest rate debts paid off (mortgage not considered as debt in this case) you can afford to level up your retirement savings.
Redirect all debt payoff monies towards your financial freedom and retirement pot.
There several books on savings.
A book a found so useful was “ The secret language of money” by David Kruger
I like the whole psychology behind our relationship with money hence our behaviour around it.
David says we say money talks but what does it say? It says whatever you tell it to.
5. Use compounding interest to your advantage.
Talane Maedaner says her blog, “A key fact to keep in mind: at a 7% rate of return (the average rate of return you are likely to get in a 60/40 stock/bond balanced fund over time), your money will double about every 10 years, even if you don’t add any extra money – the incredible power of compound interest! Obviously, you want to maximize the number of doublings and the easiest way to do that is to get a decent chunk (think $50K to $100K) invested as soon as possible – before you turn 30 ideally”
6. Increase your income.
Have you noticed how quickly we have all moved the virtual world?
Start an online sideline gig or hobby, make it futuristic and robust.
Invest in trainings or skills a lot now are available online for free.
And the last step…
7. Pay off the mortgage and save for education.
Once all high interest rates debts are done all is left is for the mortgage to be paid of and the children’s future educations savings.
Remember, knowledge is power, invest in yourself. The books below wi transform your life give it a shot.
Imagine feeling that warmth of the day on your face, the sound of the breeze relaxing you to submission.
You inhale and exhale steadily. Your eyes then shut.
After several minutes of being in heaven, albeit on earth, you open your eyes.
Your body feels lighter, rejuvenated, the unwinding worked.
A feeling of wanting to stretch and flex your neck ensues, but before you do, you look over to your right shoulder and notice this beautiful butterfly, upper side white with purple band, resting on it.
What do they say about a butterfly landing on your right shoulder?
Anyway, in a panic, not wanting to lose sight of it, you stretch your palms to catch it, but instead you startle it, it flies away to the post by you.
Not the reaction you expected, right?
You try again, it flies to the next, not accepting defeat, you now decide to turn it into a battle, your fierce desire to catch it keeps sending the butterfly away. Chase, fly. Chase, fly…
A feeling of rejection is not so far of.
Sooner than later you realise you will not win. It is a losing battle.Mmh! mmh!
You decide to SURRENDER. YOU STOP!
You sit back, go back to relaxing, and close your eyes once again acknowledging the beauty of your surrounding.
The butterfly comes back on your right shoulder, yet again.
This time round, you are wiser.
You later come to learn that the right shoulder signifies strength. You reflect on this for a moment, and your life changes for the better.
When we want something so desperately we sometimes put out negative energy pursuing it.No one likes a desperate person anyway.
We transmit the energy of lack, the energy of not believing and trusting in The Universe ( Insert what you believe in).
We work so tirelessly and end up achieving the opposite, we end up pushing away our goals, our dreams, our desires etc
Does that sound familiar? We call it being busy.
How about just surrendering to your all knowing Source?
This means that you really, have to let go energetically.
Let Go, Let God.
Let go of the small things, don’t sweat it.
As we coming to Christmas, allow me to share some tips on enjoying this season that some of us manage to turn it into stress and mayhem.
10 Steps to Staying Happier This Season.
This is something that was coined by Marie Kondo on decluttering. In her fundamental of tidying, she taught a procedure of testing whether we like things through a concept called joy filtering.
This is how it works, what you ought to do is check items, each item in your life, things you own, by placing them next to you, if it brings you joy then you keep it, if not you get rid of it, nicely. It is so easy and can be applied in other areas of our lives.
So this season if you get invited to a party ask yourself “Will this add joy to my life?” If not, decline.
You don’t have to go to every single holiday party you are invited to. Sounds like a crime to me if you asked me, especially if it makes you miserable. I do hope you already learnt how to say ’NO’ and the importance of it too.
So, stop sending holiday cards unless you love to do it and can afford to. If it brings you joy and you can’t afford it, then make the cards and gifts yourself. This even makes it more personal putting in such a personal touch. Try and pick just ten people who are special to you and send it to them. Yeah! You read that right.
Surrender, do not chase on things that do not bring you joy.
~Forgive and make amends.
This year has been dramatic, but it doesn’t have to stay like that. We need 2021 to be our best year yet.
If someone did something that hurt you, now is the time to call and forgive them.
There is a whole article on how to go about it in our blog.
Surrender, do not carry the burden of an unforgiving heart, you can’t take poison and hoping the other person dies, can you? Energy needs to flow, a burdened heart blocks it.
Love yourself enough to bear a forgiving heart.
~Get the whole family involved.
The holiday preparations can be exhausting and a burden if you are doing everything by yourself, but lots of fun when everyone pitches in, give them a chance. Have everyone bring in something during the holiday season, a dish or drinks every little helps. Surrender, we all need help, it is ok.
~There is joy in giving.
Remember love is the greatest gift of all and you can’t love without giving, also remember give and it will come back to you.
Do a good deed for someone else, with your time, talents, money, knowledge whatever it is you have will do.
…brighten someone’s day!
~Simplify gift giving.
In this era, a lot of people are quite understanding, so relax do not stress out. It is all in your head.
As they say, it is the thought that counts.
In fact, anyone who demands more from you needs to be checked, are they friend or foe? Do they bring you joy? Check point one above for reference.
~Take some ‘Me-time’
Many people get depressed during the holidays plus after having such a dramatic year. Oh boy! 2020 where do we start..
This holiday season, just make sure that every single day you have something to look forward to, no one mentioned big and expensive, coz it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be a hot bubble bath, I hope bath salts are not too expensive wherever you are.
~Keep a positive perspective.
Just remember the bottomline is to have fun, it is not a competition either, so go with the flow. Relax.
Be grateful for all things.
Burnt turkey anyone?
~Redefine your holiday tradition(s).
Only ask the important people in your life what their three most important things are that make the holiday special, then focus on those.
Your life, your rules. Your life is your party, live it your way in your own terms.
We have survived very unprecedented times, so are and should be open to examining and re-evaluating some of our traditions. We must admit that some are outrageous at time. ( If you are finding difficulty in changing due to beliefs read more on https://nicollehanselmann.com/limiting-beliefs/)
~Save for the holidays.
It might be a little too late now for this year, but you can start saving early for next holiday season.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
~Hire some help.
You don’t have to know everything neither do you have to do everything. So it is ok to need, and hire some help… or even keep them who cares.
It is all about allowing not forcing.
Energy needs to flow or else it stagnates.
If it was meant to be it will be.
If it is in alignment with your purpose it will find it’s way back.
Surrendering is trusting The Universe and all things ‘shall be added into you’
Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you, rather than against you.-Eckhart Tolle.
Your faith in The Universe must be stronger than everything else.
Illness, self-doubt, rough childhood= Wisdom, good judgement, compassion.
I sometimes reflect on my rough childhood and appreciate it a lot. The only pickle is when I want to share my story without coming across as hurting. Our stories build us. I am grateful for mine.
Just to let you know that I don’t harbour any hate, resentment, or grudge whatsoever. I also forgive and have forgiven myself, I forgive everything and everyone for my childhood. I chose not to ever jump in the blaming people and things pool. I couldn’t be happier.
Time past and time future.
What might have been and what has been.
Point to one end, which is always present.
Contrary to some beliefs, where I come from going to boarding school does not always necessarily mean prestige, mine was for survival purposes. It sort of worked out that way. I went to boarding school when I was about 11-12years old thereabouts. I did enjoy it and finished my primary years there.
Good ol’ days!
I performed well but incidentally, there was no money for my transitioning to high school. There was no fees and hence circumstances forced me to repeat the same class acting upon my uncles suggestion.
Good ol’ days!
He organised a day school for me to attend.
It was the unmade bed of schools.
There I was, in a class full of pupils much younger than me, better than the odds of being at home, right? I lived with the fore-mentioned uncle, who wasn’t that badly off, with his family at the time, it was a few miles from the school which required daily commute to and fro. Quite a walk in a generally wet climate.
Good ol’ days!
Time went by, made some friends… But as “times were hard,” I couldn’t afford a lot of things especially a pair of new shoes.
I wore the same canvas shoes for such a long time my feet were literally on the ground. They were pale and completely torn. Then, came this fine day, the sun was out, some of the girls decided to sit outside on the grass in front of our classroom as the boys cleaned it, it was their turn.
One of the cheeky boys, Kevin, can never forget his name, pulled out a shoe that had been stuck in the mud for the longest, waved it in the air jumping “I found Nicolle’s shoe” He had not seen me with the group of girls, he looked to my side, our eyes locked, he threw the shoe away and ran to the back of the building laughing like crazy as everyone joined him in the laughter. The commotion drew a crowd.
It felt so bad. We still had to go back in the classroom for the rest of the day, some still giggling.
Time went by like it never happened. One day my mum came to visit me over at my uncles and the tears in her eyes spoke enough. She had come from a 7 hour journey just to see me not knowing what was going on. With her little money she went and bought me some new pair of canvas. Seeing your mum cry like that isn’t easy for any child to witness. To me she was a hardworking strong lady, she remains that to me, though I have to admit that image never left me. She wondered why no-one had told her anything. I knew why. I was never allowed to.
Anyway, looking back now I see how values get developed. They stem from somewhere though they do change from time to time. One of my core values is compassion. I hate seeing children lack and suffer, it tears me down. So if I can empower just one adult to make the most of their lives so that their kids have a better life, that is good enough for me to live by.
I would like to encourage you today to know your whys and to discover your values. They are like your North Star guiding you and reminding you of what all this is all about.
Otherwise allow me to leave you with my favourite lines from the character Anne Montgomery in What If series ( I can understand if you find it a little controversial in some ways)
Everything happens for a reason.
Think about that for a moment.
All your efforts, personal, professional, canal…
Utter and absolute slaves…
to some cosmically predetermine set of outcomes.
As if we have no say in, let alone culpability for, the defining moment in our lives.
If you want a life of purpose…
by inverting the notion that everything happens for a reason.
Not as some future explanation for terrible tragedy or glorious achievement but as a validation…
Of the deliberate choices that lead us to these critical junctures in the first place.
Assert authority over chance, fate, and destiny, because everything does happen for a reason.
And that reason is you.
To attain elite success, you must be willing to make hard choices,
Do the unpleasant things, risk your most valuable assets and do away with the shackles designed by society to limit us: love, marriage, children.
And above all, the uninvited imposition of lesser people’s moral agendas.
Because nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without sacrifice.
And true greatness…only comes to those…willing to pursue it…at any cost.
The first thing I do with my clients when they walk through the door in our first session is that I ask them to stand up for the exercise. I want you to dare to dream. I want you to close your eyes. And while you do that I would like you to record yourself as you go through this exercise…
These are words spoken by Sue of AllBright in her video on how to find your values. So the idea of standing, does have a lot of benefits including bypassing limiting beliefs, but that is not what I want to dwell on today. I want to talk about knowing our values. You may now wonder, “Why would anyone go through all that trouble?”
A lot of us go through life not knowing our highest values, we don’t even know what it means having them.
The big question would then be, Why the fuss?
Back in my early 20s life was cool and exciting, like it is for many of us in that age. Opportunities presented themselves and it was fun, kind of magnetic, they just came.
My sister and I ended up working together in the same spa. A very fine 5 star spa, it was one of the few back in those days in the whole city. But then something happened between our boss and my sister, forcing my sister to stand up for herself, she then resigned with immediate effect. I followed suit. I resigned too, impulsively, there and then. It was a wrap.
Our boss was totally bewildered. He apologised and asked us back to reinstate us. After several days we all met at the HR’s office. What was interesting was his only question to me, “Why did you also resign?”
For me I suppose I knew where I stood. My thoughts must have been, if you can do that to someone else, more so my sister, then it won’t be long before I’m next.
When you are young, you are hyper and stand for yourself knowing that more opportunities will present themselves, it is the least of your worries, no a hint of fear. Nothing keeps you in a place you stopped connecting with in terms of your values.
Values as a game changer.
They are what make us tick. A value is something that brings you joy and satisfaction, and is something that’s extremely important to you e.g. connectivity, peace, independence, and/or freedom, travel, adventure the list goes on and on.
Value here is not in reference to societal moral compass or any for that, it is not in the sense of right or wrong, good or bad per se. When we are living a life that is honouring our values, we feel a real sense of fulfilment. This is where we attain our authentic happiness, we are fully alive and most fully ourselves. Nirvana!
Conversely, when we are not living according to our highest values, there’s an inner sense of ‘disharmony’ a ‘dissonance’ of some sort. We are not coherent. This is why so many of us are unhappy and lack motivation at work, or at home or just about life in general. We lose the ability to stay true to our values and vision.
Most certainly in the long run constantly being incoherent lead to anxiety, depression, anger and all sorts of physical illnesses.
An example, if your value is improving other people’s lives, contributing, and serving then, consider a possible career in say teaching as that will be in alignment with those values.
So now, I want you to literally stand up, close your eyes, and dare to dream. Envision your dream life, go into so much details as possible e.g You are all dressed up in your best outfit and are giving a speech at a TedTalk. The hall is full to the brim (specify age, gender, locality) , you travelled all the way, for miles, to the venue in London and had a good night rest in the nearest 5 star hotel…
Go ahead and dream. The dream will reveal to you your core values. From the example above it, you may figure out that you love to share and contribute to the world, that you value freedom, travelling, adventure, etc.
Dream and dream big.
Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live-Margaret Fuller.
It’s pretty damn hard to bring your uniqueness into actual being if you’re always doing the same things as a lot of other people- Brendan Francis.
I have been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is better.-Sophie Tucker
Quotes like these sometimes seem cheesy, crappy or just too uncool.
But once you begin to dig them you will never be the same, you may need some form of self-development to get there.
This quote takes me back to my upbringing, for the better part we could never afford a meal.
For me being poor isn’t an option. Hold on, hear me out first.
I come from a family of naturally slender people so now you can imagine slim without food.
I still sometimes wonder how we stayed positive maybe that is why I am here today.
Now picture this, back in the 90s we lived in a rented one bedroomed house before it got converted into two. We were a family of 6, my mum and the 5 of us, though one of us was mostly away. The constant drama in that home is to be cherished. Anyway, my mum was a very hardworking lady but then she lost her job, with no other skills, life changed for us. Borrowing and foraging started. We had some pawpaw trees around the building, if trees could express their feelings, these ones would have been scared of us. We hardly let the fruits to ripen to eat them, we ate them crunchy and for some reason loved it.
That was our life. Our childhood. Being sent home from school for fees and all was the norm. At some point, some of us tried boarding school, I eventually ended up living with an uncle for all of my teen life. It wasn’t easy, anyone who has lived with a relative would know what I am talking about. I am grateful that I knew it wasn’t my future, I felt it in my core. “The must be a better way”, I told myself. And I decided whatever it takes, whatever happens in my life, I may have to paint the sky blue first before I call it quits. What I didn’t realise at that was that I was manifesting. I had asked for something at that point in my life and it got written in the stars.
I have been blessed. I have travelled to places that I only read in books.
Most of us go through a lukewarm life, neither cold nor hot. With some lucky occasional movie star moments thrown in the mix. But deep down we know we want better, we know we deserve better. I have lived a life of doubts in the past before I reached a point of total believe. Doubts and fears only manifestthe negative. Now that I know better, it is all about concentrating on the rock star within me and nurturing that.
I’m assuming if you are still reading this you do go through the same thing, a lot of us do.
Some give up and settle. That is where the difference comes in.
Is there a solution? There is, always has been.
I made it my mission too help as many people as I can.
Help you realise that we can create our ideal life, and that life is what we make it, it is all within our control. Anyone, including you have the capability of making a change in their lives.
I will share a simple method. As easy as ABC…
Ask, believe and receive.
Be grateful for everything. For the things you have and those you are yet to have.
Care for yourself and others. Look after your mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Care for others by giving anything you have it could be your time, your knowledge it is not always about money.
Practice makes perfect. Do forgive yourself if you haven’t mastered it yet. Just remind yourself that life is about enjoying the journey not about getting to the destination, it makes it a lot easier and fun. Be open to learning something new everyday, it is one of the things I look forward to everyday.
My website covers different aspects of development with a lot of other tips and resources. If there is anything you need to ask, please do, I am more than happy too share my experience. Go ahead and rewrite your stars.
Ps: Now I know that the pawpaw trees were God’s way of providing for us even in the toughest of times, the trees had to obey.
Albeit Einstein has been widely credited for defining crazy to us.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”
“You are a victim of the rules you live by” – Jenny Holzer.
Many years ago, as a young painstakingly industrious and zealous lady, I lost my hearing.
It was of those devastating things that you don’t wish on anyone, not even your worst enemy.
I was in my prime, got really ill, and ended up hospitalised for a good few days, just over a week. Prior to that I was self-employed and employed too, things were awesome, beforethey weren’t!
Business had gone through a rough patch. I had to shut it down, and had quit my job as well, for different reasons, the two incidents were not even remotely correlated, but they did happen closely together.
You must have heard of people having their worst year? That was mine.
There was even a robbery incident involving knives sandwiched somewhere in between the craze, but to cut the long story short we will concentrate on a different part of my journey. I would say I had my experience of what they say, “Bad things come in threes”
It takes a lot to kill my spirit.
Incidentally, after a lot of experimentation with my body, by the doctor, being in a semi-coma, and eventually going back home, that is when things started dawning on me.
I had to learn how to walk again, I also realised that I couldn’t hear too well either. I had lost my hearing from the antibiotics as some sort of a not-so-funny side effect. The sad thing is that I still never realised how bad it was, or how serious things were or even, that it could be permanent and in effect change my course.
My life had changed and would never be the same again and I just had no idea how much.
My mum, bless her heart, would wake me up in unholy hours of the morning for fresh air and exercises, grrrrr!
God knows how much of a struggle it was for me, and for her, and how much I hated it.
Anyway, several weeks later I felt better. I felt ready to face the world, bring it on!!!
Embracing the lessons…
Ready! Set! Go! I decided to go and visit my sister, on my own. Happy bunny, back in to the real world where she belongs, hop! hop!
I crossed the road safely, somewhat managed to, got to the other end. And for some reason, I decided to look back, turned my head and was met by a very angry looking cyclist. He was busy swearing at me, at least what seemed like cussing, at the top of his voice, really mad and boiling, if words could kill, I wouldn’t be here.
Onwards and upwards, I got to my sister’s, narrated the story and we all laughed like crazy. We were still young you know. There is something about being young, whatever it is, we found the incident really funny. Indeed young can be carefree. When you are young you tend to laugh, a lot, at least we did, at everything. Everything just seemed hilarious for weird reasons.
Back to the story, so after some years, quite a few, of being in denial and refusing to get some hearing aids, I eventually carved in. Mmmh!
My audiologist gave me the news I had dreaded to hear.
“You have internal damage in your blah blah blah, meaning your hearing will never be restored blah blah blah it is permanent…’ Absolutely upsetting.
I would say for the first time it did actually really hit me. There I was disappointed, but I had no room and time for a pity party.
Are my hearing aids perfect? No! Absolutely not! Not even close, but they are something, and I know now, to be grateful. Was I always upbeat after going through all that? Definitely not, I would be lying if I said otherwise. Did I have the right to be mad? Probably, I got “robbed” of my prime, “robbed” of my potential life, of my dreams…
Today I see things differently. I understand that things happen the way they do for a reason, for a higher purpose. Hence my paradigm “Embrace the lessons”
Spirituality and personal development has helped me a great deal. Especially in finding my lives purpose. I do love sharing my knowledge and my journey. Anyone has the potential to pick a side, to discover and embrace their lives purpose. I picked self-awareness, self-improvement, personal development, and a lot of life defining paths. Also, came to a realisation of how much of a control I have, of my circumstances and my outlook. Fell in love with my journey, I hope you do yours too.
Today, I wanted us to talk about cleaning up your act .
Clean up your act…
It is a waste of time, energy, and potential wondering why some traumas happened to you and not to others. Dust yourself, clean up your act. It is about time you cleaned up your insides as well as your outsides. What I mean by that is that, you need a clean mind because it influences your environment, and vice versa.
I always say everything matters and everything does indeed actually matter.
When you clean your environment it allows you to easily declutter your mind, and when you declutter your mind, say through meditation, it influences how your surroundings will look like, nice and tidy. The two work together and need each other.
“Time past and time future. What might have been and what has been. Point to one end, which is always the present”-T.S Elliot
The present is all that counts and it is perfect. Life is a master teacher, don’t let the teacher catch you being unappreciative of what you have right now. If you think you don’t have enough of anything, e.g time, then that is all you will attract.
You will always be busy and never enough time for the things you love and/or for those you love. This basically boils down to gratitude, be grateful for just being alive.
“Unbelievable as it may sound, you only have to experience a state of order once to be able to maintain it”-Marie Kondo.
Declutter, be organised, and have a place for everything: A lot of the things we keep and save are totally unnecessary, you would be surprised at how much joy they could give to someone else.
So give, give, give away. Learn Marie Kondo’s techniques on the best tips on how to declutter she will absolutely change you life, forever.
Simplify your life and environment: Less is more. For instance, there is a difference between being busy and being productive. Learn about minimalism and notice how much you will end up saving by just stopping to accumulate the never ending material possessions.
Something new and shiny is a trend that will never stop. Be in control of the accumulation. Do you know, how much a car loses its value as soon as it leaves the showroom? Simplify every area of your life, and feel immediate joy.
“Tell me your friends and I will tell you who you are”
Upgrade your network: You could brag about going for some expensive coffee as you like, but the bottomline is that they are people you invest your time with and others…well have a guess.
Socio-gram: There is something called socio-gram a concept I learnt of recently. With socio-gram, the bigger and diverse your network is the better your chances for success.
If your circle of friends is repetitive (redundant), then you probably are not getting enough perspective on different aspects of your life and life in general. Same people, same view, same results.
Life is about learning from what it throws at us, just keep moving even if it is towards the wrong destiny it is far better than standing.