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We all go through tough patches in one or mpre spheres of our lives. The tough part of these phases is not actually the tough patch but rather getting through them.  I went to one of my mentors recently about keeping motivation level up through difficult times.  He said you have 2 options and I 100% agree with. Thank you to him for the inspiration for this blog post which has been slightly adapted of course.
You have 2 options: 1. Stink your head in the sand OR 2. Keep going. So this leads me back to the initial question – are you an ostrich or an elephant?  Ostriches are notorious for sticking their heads in the sand and essentially ignoring anything around them. I have learned via a kids sing that they actually don’t do this but we will go with the analogy.  If you act like an ostrich and stick your head in the ground,  yes you can ignore the tough patch but in doing so you make the people around you angry. Once you decide to lift your head up again,  you face 2 problems. 1. The tough patch that has not gone away and 2. All the people that you have upset are still upset with you. Congratulations,  you have just doubled your problems.

On the other hand, elephants are strong and thick skinned. Theae guys just keep going. As a famous saying goes, if you are going through hell, keep going. Elephants really don’t stop for much at all. They can easily bash down trees with their enormous strength. They leave a trail that is there for all to see. They are also very thick skinnex. They have to deal with all sprts of trees and shrubs that have thorns on them, if they have thin skin they would get iniured easily.

Which one are you? Is your head full of sand or are just going to keep going?

Reason to Succeed

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Into the darkness

There I am, at my desk working diligently.  I have my earphones in to help distracting noises out of my head. I have a concentration span of half a brick so this helps tremendously. I keep bashing away at the keyboard of my laptop, putting incredibly impressive spreadsheets together so non accounting salesmen can understand what the accounts are doing. Suddenly, it’s dark and very quiet. There is no electricity!  Aaargh – load shedding has struck again. But wait, you have a laptop so its all okay when this happens,  surely? Well yes and no. In a perfect world – yes but the world is not perfect and this means that my laptop has no battery life whatsoever.  Effectively rendering it useless as a laptop and turning it into a fancy looking desktop!

So now what?

Thankfully,  the building we are in has backup generators and after about 10 minutes, they kick in and destroy any hope of an afternoon off.
Load shedding is a very real situation here in South Africa and involves blocks of the country being without power for between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. This gives the power utility enough time to do maintenance or to lessen the load of the power grid. This is a very hot topic in SA and one that everybody will have their little temper tantrum about given half a chance. For me, I actually think it’s a good idea and should be implemented on a semi permanent basis.
Here are a number of reasons to enjoy and benefit feom load shedding or no power.

1. Cost savings.
No power equals less power used equals less money spent.  Enough said.

2. More family time.
No one looks back on their life and says ‘I wish I spend more time watching television or working late’. Use the break from television to spend with your family. Here is a very novel idea – talk to your family during this time. (Note the sarcastic tone in that comment?) More than any other reason – this will ALWAYS benefit you and your family.

3. Explore options.
If your favourite shopping centre or local hangout is in darkness, use the opportunity to break away from the usual places and explore new places to visit. You may find a very exciting place to visit that you will visit more often and even tell your friends about. There will change the usual answer of ‘we went to the usual place’ or ‘we always go to the same place’. Even at home you can do this. This works especially well if you have smaller kids but there is no reason that any age can enjoy it. Have a picnic for dinner. Make something that does not need a firm surface like a table and set up a picnic blanket and pillows etc in your lounge or on the verandah or even in the garden. This is great fun and works wih the lights on too! If the lights are on, NO ELECTRONIC GADGETS!

4. Learn to plan ahead.
Instead of moaning about not having electricity, plan ahead. Load shedding is generally according to a schedule widely published to the public in all forms of media. This gicea you no excuse to not know. Knowing when it’s going off helps you plan ahead of this time. This might mean having dinner slightly later or earlier than normal. It may may , ean bathing childrwn by candlelight. This can be turned into another family experience. My 3 year old daughter loves it when the candles come out and its such a blessing watching her face light up with anticipation. No amount of electronic gadgets can give anybody that joy. If you habe planned a meal out and the restaurant is going to have no electricity – plan a different meal or another branch of the restaurant. The main word here is plan. Refer to point 3.

Being in the dark does not have to be a dark experience. If you put a little effort I to it, it can turn into a great experience that you will cherish forever. What have you got to lose?

Stronger

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What do you dream about? What will your life be like when you’ve achieved your most deeply held dreams? Let’s take a look at how you can start living your dreams this very day.

Do you have a dream, a vision of the life you wish to live?
How specific is that dream?
How clear is that vision?
How do you intend to reach it?
What obstacles stand in your way?
Are your fears holding you back or are you using them to move you forward?

Your fears can actually lead you to success. Fear is an intense emotion. But that doesn’t mean it has to control you, or even stop you. Fear can prepare you and push you forward just as strongly as it can hold you back. Fear heightens your awareness and increases your physical strength. Fear brings your mind to sharp focus. With all that going for you, does it make sense to just run and hide? Of course not. Fear gets you in shape to take action.

Are you waiting for things to get better before moving ahead? If you’re serious about success, you need to start taking action today. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect, you’ll wait forever and nothing will ever get done.

The way to achieve is to bloom where you’re planted, to do what you can, where you are, with what you have. It’s easy to think up excuses for not taking action. If only I had more hours in the day. If only I had a better job. If only I could meet the right person. But excuses won’t bring you anything of value. You’ve got to change your “if only” into an “I will.” I will make better use of my time. I will work on improving my career. I will create and nurture my relationships.

Just as giving money, though, be sure to give your time to organizations that speak to you. You’ll feel so much more committed and have a greater sense of contentment when you are part of a group that you truly believe in. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Take a chance. Have faith in yourself. Your circumstances will improve when you make the effort to improve them. Start where you are right now. Start where you are with you have because what you hace is enough. You have everything it takes to reach for whatever you desire. Stop wishing. Use your time, your energy, your thoughts and efforts to make it happen. You’ll be glad you did.

I have a 3 year old daughter. I am biased in saying she is wonderful but she is. We love her to bits! I soon realised that as much as she is learning daily from us – I (we as parents) are learning vital lessons from her. Certain lessons, I jave really tried to use in my daily life and encourage her to develop.
The list is endless and there will be another post like this, but here are the first 6 that I wrote down.

1. Enthusiasm is key.
Have you ever seen a 3 year old wave? It’s a whole body experience. Both hands go like crazy, not to mention their little faces light up like a Christmas tree after 7 espressos!

2. Never stop learning.
Every single day a 3 year old is learning what seems like an infinite number of things. New things. I take my daughter to school and she was exceptionally excited because we took a different route to school and she noticed that we had not used that route before. Never go a day without stretching your body or your mind like a 3 year old. They test their limits and break them daily. So should you! Never go a day without stretching your body or your mind.

3. Go, go, go, sleep!
3 year olds are perpetual motion. They never stop. When they stop they sleep. They may sleep for 2 – 3 hours or 20 minutes. Our daughter always looked like she was going to sleep for long periods but very seldom did. We as adults, should not go until we sleep but we should take breaks throughout the day. They might be short ones just recharge or longer to get some good rest. Either way, it’s a good idea.

4. If you say you will do something, DO IT!
This has caught us out numerous times. There is a great saying ‘judge a tree by the fruit it bears not by the fruit it talks about’ and this defines a 3 year old, especially my daughter. If we have told her that we will go to hw ahop to get shoes, she will remind us and ask wel after we have forgotten we said it or when we are too tired. If you do not do what you said you will do – well lets just say that the end of the world arrivws prwtty quickly for our little one. Enough said.

5. Be cautious but go all in.
My daughter can be very shy at first. It takes some time for her to try something new but once she has and she enjoys it – it’s all in time baby! You can be cautious to begin with but once you decide on a path or direction, go for it 100%.

6. Do what you enjoy.
We attanded a 4 year olds birthday party recently. One of my daughter’s class mates. We had been to the venue before and it was very nice. This time around, my daughter skipped all the things she had looked at on the last visit and went straight for the sand pit. Very seldom does my daughter (or any 3 year old) do anything they do not want to so why do we? We do things because we are supposed to do it or expected to attend but really don’t have to. Head to your sand pit of life.

What has your child or children taught you?

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