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Friday, April 12th, 2013
When you win be gracious…..when you lose fight harder next time…….’
As we move into April I stop myself to ask where the year has gone so far? It makes this blog even more important to me right now, what I write and how I feel at this point is very relevant.
The world moves so fast, days and weeks pass with very little appreciation for the beauty, importance and special time we all spend here. The amount of times I have found myself ‘sweating the small stuff’! – my bus is late, my tights have a snag, I burnt the toast when actually if I had taken a deep breath, paused to think about the reality of the situation I perhaps may well have chosen a very different attitude to which I did.
I would like to share with my readers the concept of Betari’s Box – no one actually knows where this came from but for me has been a significant concept that I very much have tried to adopt.
This circle explains the interaction between people; it emphasizes the importance that as an individual how you have total control around choosing your attitude. How often have you got up in the morning, felt positive (for whatever reason) and that day will start and continue to be a positive one. Alternatively how many times have you started the day on a bad note for it only to continue and get worse …. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
The way we interact with others, the way we communicate and conduct ourselves has a direct impact (negative and positive) on those around us. You can choose your attitude that in turn drives the behavior that is seen by others, the way you speak, what you say, your body language has a direct impact on the way other people react and relate to you. This circle helps confirm that a positive attitude will have a positive effect on those around you, the more powerful your attitude the more likely the person/people you are communicating with will respond in a similar way. Of course we can not control other peoples minds, however I do believe we can influence their choice of choosing their attitude that will effect their behavior that is seen by others.
This circle has taught me a great deal about life in general, when things are hard and we feel negative and decide to adopt negative behaviour this will only feed a negative cycle. Despite our challenges in life (we all have different ones) the power of choosing the way we react and face these can make all the difference to the way we spend our day to day life…… I leave you with a final thought:
‘Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal: nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude’ – Thomas Jefferson
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Sunday, January 13th, 2013
As 2013 enters its third week I thought it would be an appropriate time that I wrote another blog, my first this year! Over the last few months it has been challenge, change and things that have made me re-assess my goals going forwards, I wanted to share with you all some ideas that may assist you in making the most of life, opportunities and challenges.
“Don’t change because a New Year is coming up but change for your own personal growth no matter what resolutions you make, they start with you”.
To set the record straight I officially dislike New Year, just because there is a big celebration, everyone vows to change their lives and expectations soar sky high does not mean the next year will be great! I try to continuously encourage my clients to assess their achievements, re-set and realign their goals and not just because it is a certain time of the year. I also make the effort to do this myself, my goodness it makes a difference and re-sets the mind and vision. However having said all that a New Year is a great time to reflect, consider and a point in time to plan and set some goals, I would like to combine my thoughts with a quote “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open”
So to open your minds I would like to propose to all my readers a challenge; not because it is a New Year, not because you are being told to, but only if you wish to make that journey – I will leave that entirely up to you!
- What are your goals in life – get a big piece of paper and some colourful pens and brainstorm – include everything!
- Start with your ultimate goal as a bubble in the middle
- When you have your ultimate bubble build out from that bubbles of actions to get you there
- The bubbles to get you there should have dates for action (if possible)
- Prioritize your bubbles – colour code most important/critical to less important or reliant on most important being delivered
- Put together an action plan, with dates, dependencies and what you need to do
- If you can display this somewhere (or a list of your first actions) this will remind you to stay focused and determined
**NB – If actions you complete change the focus on later actions do not be afraid to change them – “You can’t stop the future, You can’t rewind the past, The only way to learn the secret…is to press play.” ― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why**
Key to achieving your goals:
- Must be realistic and achievable – don’t pretend, instead be honest with yourself
- Believe in yourself and your values – when goals are aligned to your true values and beliefs I can guarantee you will achieve.
- If you don’t quite meet a specific goal that IS NOT a failure but a learning experience – embrace, learn and do something different
- If something is not working don’t be afraid to change it and do something different – never be afraid to change what you do
As I finalise my first 2013 Shine4Life post I wish all my family, friends and work colleagues a fantastic 2013 and beyond.
“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative. W. Clement Stone
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Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Having been so busy (poor excuse I know) and had little time to focus on ‘think’ rather than just do I find myself having ‘lost’ an entire Autumn just doing what I was doing, how often do we find ourselves in a situation when we just ‘do’ and don’t question why? The justification for this I guess is the general need to work, earn money and do our chores….. Arghhhh Groundhog Day!
This blog is dedicated to encourage people to take a step back, reflect, challenge and do something different if what you are doing is not truly aligned to your values or beliefs. In the work that I do with individuals, teams and organisations I never start a coaching or consultancy session without first exploring the core values:
*what is most important and fundamental to them as a person/team/company.
*what motivates them to deliver?
*what excites them
*what do they need to be doing in order to be proud?
I have a great exercise you can do to help establish your true & simple needs in life, I strongly believe that if each and every day we are satisfying our values and beliefs we are far more likely to be happier, more content, more successful and ultimately ‘live’ rather than ‘exist’ in life.
Writing this now I am ashamed to say that over the last few months I have forgotten to look after my top three values, however as they are so firm in my mind the decisions I take every day ensures I make choices that do not compromise them (most of the time!). Once the values are clearly established then the goal setting starts, my clients very rarely achieve their goals if they are not aligned to their core values, why, because the motivation, drive and dedication to do something you fundamentally do not believe in is weak. This will ultimately drive excuses, denial and failure to action or deliver.
Imagine yourself walking through thick treacle, every step is an effort, you often want to give up or turn back and actually at times you wish it would turn to cement and make everything just stop. In times like this I would ask yourself why? The challenge begins when you start to question what you are doing, why you feel like you do and most importantly what are you going to do to change the situation?
That word ‘change’…… For some people this means excitement, challenge, fun, for others it resonates in fear, denial, and distrust. The world we all find ourselves in now is spinning faster and faster, gone are the days of a simple life and unless we realise we have to move with the times, change and adapt we will be left behind. It is always hard to look back at the past, wish it was still the present and find a way to move on….…
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn
As we move towards Bonfire Night, the explosion of colour, bright sparkles and dazzling light take a moment to think about what your goals are, where you want to be and more importantly who do you want to be, ask yourself the following:
- What makes you smile?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What makes you feel alive?
- Define your ‘perfect’ day – both work and personal
It all starts with you, for you are the only person who can change the future, take control, make decisions and embrace change.
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –A.A. Milne
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
This month’s blog is really dedicated to two different things, the first has to be our GB Olympic team & second is my memories and re-connecting with people who I have missed being part of my life over the last 10 years.
These last few months have been challenging, unsettling, exciting & also disappointing. I have so many goals & dreams; achieved many, still strive to achieve many more & have realised that some are not about to come true in my lifetime at least!
I have found myself ‘soul searching’, combined with aggressive travel and work commitments. I have tried things in the last few months that have taught me incredible lessons, I tend to run before I can walk with my ‘can do’ attitude that I am learning without the preparation and knowledge can lead to outcomes far from I desired! I have learnt to look at these experiences as learning opportunities and not ‘failure’ – I hate that word! (I also do not care for the word ‘Hate’ either!)
Team GB….. As I watch the London Olympics & was lucky enough to be part of the Cross-country day in Greenwich Park (and look forward to 2 more days with a wonderful friend & my husband) it made me travel back in time when I used to ride, compete and my dream was to ride at the Olympics…. As life never is how you imagine I have had to change my plans and focus on other areas that provide me with a challenge. It did make me realise however how precious and valuable my youth was & the fact that I was competing with the best and keeping up with them to a certain extent too! Those years made me the person I am today and I feel proud when I watch those amazing athletes and their achievements, I have a taste of their passion and am in total awe of their continuous drive, determination and often sheer stubbornness!!!
The second part of my blog is linked to the first!…I connected with an old friend and her gorgeous daughter in Greenwich Park whilst watching the Olympics and our ‘good old time’ memories came flooding back and today I found myself back in the saddle, teaching, riding and doing what I love. It made me realise the importance of memories, never forgetting the past because that has made my future, who we are, what we stand for and our value in life.
So many things in life happen that make you change course, adapt, sacrifice & at times ‘make do’ … there is a time and place for all of this but I truly believe that by aligning your core values in life means that the majority rather than the minority of your days are spent in a way that makes you happy.
Values aren’t buses… They’re not supposed to get you anywhere. They’re supposed to define who you are.”
― Jennifer Crusie
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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
This made me question what inspires me and what gets my mind and body energised to generate new ideas, meet new people, start new projects and really get that ‘fire in my belly’ feeling. I guess the last few months has been a whirlwind of travel, challenges, work/life balance, don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed every minute of the hectic last few months, great clients, different cultures however… sometimes it does pay to stop, look, listen and take time to get your head out of your own life and look around…this is what I believe gives me inspiration and re-energises my heart & soul.
Spending time with my oldest best friend today made me laugh so much, she has inspired this blog and is always the ‘voice of reason’ although she never listens to her own advice! So this blog is dedicated to my best friend, to the people I have met over the last few months and lastly as this blog is all about inspiration must include Queen Elizabeth II - Happy 60th Jubilee Ma’am!
My last few months have been spent with many professional and successful people, I listen to their drive and discipline that makes them the success they are, I have also worked with individuals who have a very different mind-set and realize there is a distinctive way people look and approach life. The usual analogy ‘is your glass half full or half empty’ does to a certain extent stand true but I would also like to combine this with the ‘bucket’ analogy, ‘How full is your Bucket?’ – now when you combine the two a remarkable pattern emerges.
The ‘Bucket’ analogy is all around how full is your bucket, depending on your mindset and attitude will determine how full your bucket is, however it can be emptied very quickly if you let others and your environment ‘dip’ – when this happens your full bucket becomes less full as the ‘dippers’ have taken your ‘juice of life’. Now sometimes we can not control the ‘dipping’ situations but what we can do is limit the damage! It is our choice how we go about our daily life/work and also the attitude to which we approach this. There are often times/events we cannot control, but our attitude towards this can limit the damage to our ‘bucket’!
So as I look at people who have combined the positive attitude with choosing to spend their time with other people/organisations/situations that limit who ‘dips’ from their bucket have made for some truly inspirational people, these people exhibit strength, determination, integrity and most of all success at what they have chosen to do.
So as I finish my blog for June I also have the Queen’s Jubilee in the background, this for me is an inspiration, 1 lady for 60 years has honoured a role she was given, chosen her attitude, remained professional and I think everyone will agree done a fantastic job. What also inspires me are the many people joining her in this celebration, those that in my eyes have an incredible mindset, attitude and determination, our soldiers, nurses, doctors, emergency services, cancer sufferers who never give up… all who I have to say are an inspiration to all.
My closing thoughts (and picture as this blog is for all you strong women out there!) is that we never know what tomorrow holds but are in control of today, our choices and what we decide to do. I also appreciate these may vary from person to person depending on your situation, but what you can control do it, where you can ‘fill your bucket’ do it and find things that inspire you to be your best!
‘Be the best version of you’
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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
As I sit down to write this March blog I am reflecting on a month of busy times, juggling suitcases, remembering the correct passport and making sure my many diaries are up to date and I am where I am supposed to be! – I have just about managed that due to my fantastic support Louise – without her goodness knows what plane, airport or country I would end up in – Thank you Louise!!
My work this month has been with a variety of different people, cultures and new challenges, it has required flexibility and openness to new ideas….this for me is very inspiring.
During this work it has become apparent that when coaching and working with my client’s success comes from ‘doing what you say you will do’ – when setting goals and actions for clients I have become far more aware of the value and importance of aligning these to the person/teams underlying values and desires . Very often I find when clients don’t achieve their goals they were not correctly aligned in the first place, the alignment to true belief and core values is critical. This experience (as well as personal experiences over the last few months) has inspired this blog and some thoughts from me that I hope will add value to those who read this.
So many people (me included) worry about things that are not in our control, whilst often this is very hard to manage, when done it releases time and energy for other things to focus on that you CAN influence/be in control of. If you manage to do this life is a far more pleasant experience and something to enjoy rather than ‘get through’. Every person is dealing with different challenges and situations, all relative and just as important as the other, for some this may mean applying for a new job, moving house, growing a family, for others this may be undergoing treatments or fighting illness. Each and every one of us is living ‘our’ life, whatever that throws at us, however hard it may get we still have a choice on the decisions we make.
I have realised this week that after coaching several clients there has to be an importance of accountability, placing emphasis and realisation that the choices you make in life, what actions you take and ultimately what you choose to do is up to you.
I find a great way to track, motivate and incentivise myself each and every day is to always have with me a small ‘action and achievement’ book, this for me is a purple notebook that contains my ‘to do’ list every day…. I take great pleasure in crossing off actions/goals I needed to do, am reminded of others I still need to do and on looking back through the many pages realise exactly how much I have achieved on a daily, weekly and monthly basis! This for me reminds me to be accountable, disciplined and takes control of what I can control…. Of course there are actions that don’t get done or am late at doing but we are only human & ‘don’t sweat the small stuff”!!!! I try to think I am invincible or Superwomen!!! However sadly this is just not true – I am just human and like everyone else….
I leave you with a closing thought and the purpose of my March blog:
A positive attitude brings strength, energy and initiative, Positive thoughts are not enough. There have to be positive feelings and positive actions.
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Saturday, March 10th, 2012
As I sit here at the beginning of March 2012…wondering where the year has gone so far I am contemplating what the next few months will bring, I feel so privileged to still be working with an amazing organisation, although part time, but this allows me to forge relationships with other people/companies who I am learning to be a very important part of my existence.
Life throws curve balls in many ways, some you can catch easily, some are more sneaky and others are just impossible to bag…for now!!!!! I sat with a very good and new friend recently who made me realise that although we talk about ‘luck’ perhaps there is no such thing….perhaps we make our own ‘luck’ or the best of situations that come our way. My struggle with this is some people have more than their fair share of ‘bad luck’ but maybe this was for a strange reason…however I do still question this especially when at times life does seem SO unfair and unjust.
As I look forward to my next few months of busy travel to 10 different countries I have become very aware of the friendships I have made in the last few years, those that continue and also the new ones very recently I have made. I guess the purpose of this blog is to remind myself and all of you that there are many relationships you may have in life, some very old and sacred, for me this is very true, and others that have only just begun.
Life is incredible, one thing is for sure…every day brings its new challenges, sometimes painful, sometimes without reason and sometimes downright unfair, however it is what it is and we all have to make the most of every day, however hard it may be… For me the friendships I have had for a long time and friendships I have made recently are very special, they make it worthwhile to get up in the morning and look at each day with a new energy.
My final thought is to do with the most amazing and incredible girlfriend who laughed last weekend as she got on the most gigantic horse and giggled her way around the arena as the teacher and I were expecting a very subdued lesson only to be amazed at the determination that not only did she last more than half an hour – something I aspire to do! – but off the lunge line and told to have a walk round the arena she then proceeds to take it upon herself to pick up speed and go faster!!!!! Jo YOU ROCK!!!!!
I leave you all with a quote… no one knows what tomorrow will bring, life is precious, I thank my friends, old and new for making each day a great experience….
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
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Saturday, February 11th, 2012
As I sit to write this blog I have to reflect on the start to 2012! As we all cheer the New Year in amongst an explosion of fireworks and ‘bling’ followed by drunken promises to change the world, waking up the next morning reality hits, what has actually changed?? Very little as far as I am concerned, another dawn, another day and with it brings the same challenges that were there the night before, lets not kid ourselves!
Reflecting on 2011 I do with great fondness in so many ways, I have met many wonderful people, travelled to so many countries, worked with some of the most interesting and talented people I can only ever aspire to be like. As we move into 2012 my blog this month is all about looking to what we can control and tomorrow is indeed another day. Although learning from yesterday and the day before makes us smarter at dealing with the present and future it does not prove to be productive dwelling on yestersay, nor let it effect our drive and determination for making today a success.
2012 has certainly been a very challenging start for me this year, things have happened that I had no control over, this has meant a lot of decisions and changes were required to what I thought was the start to a great New Year, new contract and some very exciting work prospects. However I quickly learnt that there was no time for indecision, indecision makes every day an existence rather than a living, so I quickly needed to take some action. I will never know if they were the right ones but I do believe in acting rather than not, I would rather leave this planet knowing I had tried something or decided something that perhaps did not work quite as planned rather than regretting the fact that I had been too scared or hesitant to take action, life is too short.
Throughout the last month I have learnt so much more about myself, my friends and those I love very much, it has also taught me that we are only here once and never regret anything, learn from the less productive decisions you have made but these are there to teach you to make better ones, I suppose what I am trying to articulate is ‘take action’ – tomorrow is another day and if approached with conviction and energy whatever the day throws at you, and this can be many things out of your control, if you focus on what you can control, have goals, dreams and desires tomorrow is a far brighter and shiny day.
I end my blog by dedicating it to my Aunt Candy, the most amazing and inspiring lady who does all of the above, every day is a journey and adventure, and she infects everyone around her with a positive energy, infectious laugh and ability to make decisions and believe in them. She has done so many things in her life, experienced so much, travelled and interacted with so many cultures that I am always amazed by her drive and determination….Aunt Candy you rock!!!
I leave you with a final quote below…..We are all placed here to be unique, bring something different to the world and enjoy life, each and every one of us has the ability if we believe…..tomorrow is indeed another day…make it a good one!
Believe with all your heart that you will do what you were made to do.
Orison Swett Marden
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Saturday, January 14th, 2012
As I begin to write my first blog of 2012 I have given myself time to reflect on 2011 and ask myself what I have learnt during the last year? The countries I have been, the many wonderful people I have met on my travels and the work I have done with so many Financial Advisors across EMEA has provided me with a learning experience that has been so very, very special. This time last year I had started my third contract as my LTD company, was looking forward to my new challenge but had no idea what it would bring!
Well I can conclude I have learnt to be flexible in my approach to people and situations, something vital when you deal with different cultures, expectations and a multitude of demanding characters! and I have learnt that when I have not fully adopted this flexibility things have not been so productive – and you take note and learn from this, we can not be perfect all the time!
So 2012 sees another change in the work I am doing, I have been lucky enough to maintain a part-time contract with the Wealth Management house I have been working with this year, I can’t wait and am so priviliged that I have been asked to stay on. I also have other opportunities to embrace, this again for me is a change, challenge and new focus.
So as I was thinking about the theme of my first 2012 blog I realised that I never make New Year’s resolutions and anyone who knows me New Years Eve is just another evening and I do adopt a ‘stroppy attitude’ to being expected to go out and celebrate just because it is a certain date in the year!!! What new year does make me do is use this date to review what I have achieved, learn from all my experiences, some fantastic, some great and some downright awful and set a new vision, new goals and build a discipline around how I am going to achieve these going forwards.
Someone once said to me that they would rather be heading somewhere than no-where at all, this made me think about the way I approached my goal setting and realised in the past I was scared to set myself challenges that I may ‘fail’ at….I then realised that if you change your mindset to allow yourself to believe there is no such thing as failure, only a learning opportunity, everything suddenly looks a whole lot different. After that nothing seems impossible, if your initial goal changes that is fine, re-define them and ensure at every point in setting these they are aligned to your true values in life. If they are you will achieve them and best of all enjoy the journey in getting there, celebrating when you do and enjoy your life to the maximum, however hard the journey may be!
So as I wish all my blog readers the very best for 2012, I would like to thank certain individuals who have made my year an incredible experience, my dearest best friend who despite her challenges this year always taken time to meet me at a local pub close to where I ride at the weekends, today we met around a log fire and I can still smell the smoke in my hair as I write this!! another person is someone I met on my Middle East trips this year, he was so accommodating in making my trips so great and was always amazed that despite the change and challenge within the business maintained such a positive outlook!!!!
Life is very precious, grab every opportunity with both hands and I do believe everything happens for a reason, perhaps this is sometimes hard to see or believe but our destiny changes with our thought, destiny is no matter of chance but a matter of choice so despite circumstances out of control that may mean we have to deal with difficult times we can always choose our next path in life.
A closing thought (from my conversation today with my best friend!) Don’t sweat the small stuff! worry and focus on the things you can control and leave others to worry about what you can’t! I personally would rather live life saying ‘I wish I had not done that’ rather than regretting something I did not do for fear of failure. Success starts with small steps, life is a journey and not a race, enjoy each step for that makes the achievements even sweeter!
“One day at a time–this is enough. Do
not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled
about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so
beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
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Saturday, November 12th, 2011
I have had the most incredible year with Merrill Lynch Wealth
Management, working with 300 Financial Advisors across offices spanning from
Tel Aviv, Middle East, Paris, Spain, Italy and London, not to mention my
favourite team in Dublin! It has been a once in a lifetime experience, meeting
and crossing paths with so many different cultures and people that I find as it
comes to an end I wish it wasn’t!
As a consultant and therefore very much a free agent with
regards to my next goal, mission and challenge allows me to be in charge of my
own destiny. This at times, actually most of the time, is scary as the future
depends on my past, how well I have delivered to date, what people think of me
and how I execute my service. It is also incredibly motivational as every day
when I do my job it has to be the best….. What I did yesterday depends on who
wants me today and I thrive on that pressure!
So what is this month’s blog all about?…… to be totally
honest I don’t know myself, just sitting here in an amazing country, surrounded
by new and sparkling things I find myself thinking about life, the future and
making the most out of every day. Recent events and experiences has meant that
to take things for granted is a very foolish thing, days and weeks pass, months
even and I forget special moments and events that made me smile, and make me
smile when I remember! Childhood memories are fond, teenage years and friends
should not be forgotten and life to date should be taken notice of, the good,
not so good and sometimes bad….. But hey that makes us who we are. I would
just like to mention two special people who I adore and have taught & given
me so much, Jo who has to be the strongest, most gorgeous lady I know, for
reasons she and I know! & for my long lost school friend Nats (aka Cratty
Natty!) who has also added so much to my life this year (as well as many years
This year has been an amazing journey, I hope I won’t lose
touch with the people I have worked with and become close to, I have loved
every minute of working with Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors; they have
challenged me, kept me on my toes and been an inspiration to look up and aspire
to, it is not over yet and sitting in Dubai right now reminds me of the many
teams I still need to make a difference to in my last few months, so Dubai, Beirut
and Bahrain office see you this week, Milan see you next week, Geneva see you
the week after and John and team in Dublin see you in December!
As always I leave each of my blogs with a closing thought…
everyone can do what they believe in, just action what you say you will do…
“Once you replace negative
thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
- William Nelson
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