24 Sep

Are you keeping good company?

Look around you. Who are you spending most of your time with? Who are you socialising and working with on a daily basis?  Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Are you content or concerned with your answer?

By allowing people into your world, you are unconsciously giving them permission to influence how you make decisions, think, behave and conduct your life.  Depending on who these people are they will either inspire, nurture and motivate you to grow, or they will happily sit with you and be complacent.

The next time you are at work or a social occasion, take note of your thoughts, emotions and physical feelings.  Do you feel happy, invigorated, and ready to take on the world, or do you feel tired, demotivated and bored? There could be many reasons for why you feel this way, but have you considered that the people around you are either energising or draining you?

The other important point to be aware of is that this influence lasts longer than the actual time you were physically with these people. If you find your working environment motivating, nurturing and positive, it is most likely that you will approach your next interaction with a positive attitude. This unfortunately works in the negative as well. Have you experienced this before and were you aware of the damage your behaviour could cause?

I invite you to answer the following questions the next time you are at work or in a social setting.

  1. Name of person you are interacting with
  2. How much time do I spend with this person? If this person is quite prominent in your life, go to the next question. 
  3. How do I feel (emotionally & physically) when I am with this person?
  4. How do I feel (emotionally & physically) after my interaction with them?
  5. If the outcome is positive – How can I increase my time with this person?
  6. If the outcome is negative – How can I decrease my time with this person? or what do I need to do to change this negative outcome?

These questions will hopefully get you thinking about who you spend your time with and  by just selecting the right people, you are supporting your choice for self-development and growth.

10 Sep

It’s not always about winning

“If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability.”  Brene Brown discusses this in her latest book, Rising Strong.

When I first read this quote I felt extremely relieved and a whole lot more confident with my own journey. As I mulled over the concept of what it is to be brave I decided to add to this quote by saying, ” The braver you are the more opportunities there are to fail and that’s okay.”

Why would  I be relieved? Well, in some bizarre way we may sometimes justify to ourselves that if we are brave and take a leap of faith by moving out of our comfort zones it is purely a once-off occurrence. “Right, I’ve been brave. I can tick off  “brave” in the check box and move back into my comfort zone and carry on with my life”.

However, in reality in order to grow and develop and move forward in life, you have to continuously be brave. Bravery is not a once-off action. You have to continuously deal with being uncomfortable and yes, feeling vulnerable. The relief then comes when you know that you don’t have to win every time that you are brave. Success is not the only end result of being brave. You can actually fail and that’s okay too.

We can put such pressure on ourselves to win and to be successful, so that if we are not 100% certain of a rosy outcome it, makes us think twice about being brave. Instead of just realising that the act of bravery in itself is a success.

So, when last did you stop yourself from doing something brave because you weren’t 100% sure of a successful outcome?

Did you regret your decision?

It’s okay not to win sometimes,  just knowing that you are brave is a win all on its own.

03 Sep

The happy secret to better work

I’m a total advocate of positive psychology and not only do I promote it, but I also try to practise it in my own work and personal life. When I came across this TED talk by psychologist Shawn Achor,  I wasn’t just entertained, I was reminded yet again that by introducing very simple practices into your daily routine, you can re-boot how your brain works.

Shawn talks about how we have trained ourselves to believe that to be happy we firstly have to be successful. The problem is that once we have reached the goal, we then need to keep raising the bar in order to deem ourselves successful again. These repeated actions push happiness further and further away until eventually happiness becomes the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow which you never do find.

Shawn turns this whole “success = happiness” concept on its head. He introduces us to  techniques that have us practising the art of happiness with no prerequisites, like having to achieve a goal or catch the carrot dangling in front of us.

This TED Talk is brilliant and funny and to assist you I have outlined the techniques mentioned below.

Being positive in the present

  1. 3 Gratitudes: List 3 new things you are thankful for over the next 21 days
  2. Journaling: Document 1 positive experience you have encountered during the past 24 hours
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditation
  5. Random acts of kindness