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Who you hang around – that you will become.

“You cannot fly like an eagle when you are stuck with turkeys”.
If I told you that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with – would you believe me?

Do this now:
1. Get a pen and paper and write down the people that you spend the most time with. It may be 20 names.
2. Scratch out family members.
3. Chose out of those names – the names that you spend the most time with.

THOSE are the people that will determine who you are, what you become and where you will go in life.

You have to exclude family members because we cannot choose your family. We can choose how we deal with them though.

I have seen effect on people in the work place environment. A person arrived on her first day – bubbly, talkative and energetic. She was hired for this reason. After her desk was moved into an office downstairs, her whole demeanour changed. The office was very negative with a lot of rumours and back biting going on. Not long after the move she was one of the office. She had changed completely purely because of who she was with most of the day.

DO THIS NOW!

Get out your mobile phone.
Go through the personal contacts.
DELETE anyone who brings you down when you talk to them.
How do you judge this? When you see their call come you either: do not want to answer and or go “ah no” not now.
For obvious reason you cannot delete business contacts and family.

This simple exercise will make a significant difference to you and your attitude.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most successful in the room?

When you walk into the room of friends, have a look around and determine whether you are the most successful or knowledgeable. If you are, LEAVE. The only reason not leave is if you are teaching the people.
The reason for leaving the room is you cannot improve your knowledge in any way.
If you are not the most successful person – GREAT! You can learn from people and improve yourself.

Do the small things first

Small improvements can make a massive difference in life. Do not try and make a huge change or many changes at once. Change one thing at a time, master that and then change another and so on. Small changes are not difficult and soon make a huge difference.

“If there is someone you can live without, then do so” Bare Naked Ladies

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In the sport of rugby, at a certain stage of events, the team who has the possession of the ball is told by the ref “to use or lose it”. It makes sense (sometimes) because what is the point of having the ball if you are not going to use it – it is not fair.
I think this rule should be applied in everyday life too.
About 2 weeks ago, my wife decided that she wanted to apply this rule to her closet. Before I continue, she does not have many clothes she does not wear. So out came the garbage bags and the “lost it” part began! 3 bags later, there was a lot of space in the cupboards and drawers. I got in on the fun too! It took about 30 minutes and it was actually good fun!

Guidelines for “lose it”
1. If you have not worn it in 6 months. This applies to “everyday” clothes and not special occasion out fits like suites or dresses. Lose it.
2. If you “used to” fit in to it and “hope to again”. Lose it.
3. If it does not belong to you. Lost it – well actually – give it back.

We gave our “chuck outs” to someone who needs clothes and who can sell them for some extra cash and it is always good to know someone else will benefit from them. Some cities have 2nd hand clothes stores that sell for charity and may give you some money for the clothes. Giving the old stuff away does feel good though so rather give it away to a worthy cause.

This can be applied to every room in the house as well as you office. Be careful with the laws of business in your country on what documents you have to keep and for how long.

Try it and see how you feel. You do not have to be ruthless the first time. Simply repeat the process until you are happy with the remains of your belongings.
Write a comment below and tell me!

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Sometimes in life you just have to suck it up and push through a tough period or trial!
To put it bluntly “you have to pull up those granny panties and deal with it”.
I have never really felt this until just yesterday during my final exam of the semester. The studying had not gone according to plan and the resultant exam was not pretty at all. I will say that the paper was fair but with the amount studying put in – NOT PRETTY!
It was a 2 hour paper and you are not allowed to leave in the first hour. The exam paper consisted of 2 questions. By the time I had finished question one – I was over this exam and ready to leave. The hour came up and the urge to get up and leave was intense.

I thought top myself “who am I kidding – I am going to fail – get up and go home”.
For the first time ever, I sat and kept writing.
I knew I would regret it. I know I did everything I could in that exam. There is no doubt whether I did everything possible. It may be a slim chance of passing (in my opinion) but it is certainly a bigger chance because I stayed.
I pulled up my granny panties, sucked it up and pushed through. Results to be confirmed.

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In medicine, sicknesses comes to your attention by symptoms. These symptoms are the outward appearance of something going on inside. An example. I have asthma. My chest closes up and I start wheezing – it is horrible. The wheezing is the symptom of inflammation in my airways. In order to get rid of the wheezing – I have to sort out the problem inside.
The same analogy happens in the garden with weeds. You can pull the stems and or leaves off till the end of time but they will grow back if you do not get the root.
In our everyday life the same picture can be seen very often. People have road rage. People fly off the handle at the smallest of incidents. Some incidents lead to then hurting others or criminal activity!
We all get to a point when we would like to correct this behaviour. Let me give you an example. I am not very calm when driving a car. I have been known to shout and call fellow drivers certain names. I think this is from a deeper issue which is another long story. If I want to stop this shouting which is the symptom. I have to get to the cause and sort it out! If I just bite my tongue and stop shouting – I am only going to get a very sore tongue.
There are steps to this. First, admit to yourself (or someone else) that there is something to sort out. Then put an action plan together. Lastly, keep trying to get the problems root out.
Without a root a problem cannot surface!

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Back To Basics

In a recent conversation at a coffee shop, with a long time friend, he highlighted a crucial, yet simple, truth when going through a tough time. This hit home hard as I have been unemployed after retrenchment for the last 2 months.

The truth is this: get back to basics and do the basics correctly.

The basics consist of the following elements:

1. Physical.

Get into a routine. Get up and have a shower and breakfast. Go to gym / go running / go cycling (or whatever you like doing).

The reason behind this? If you are physically unhealthy – you already are one step behind on everybody.

2. Mental. Keep your brain going by doing mentally stimulating activities. These include (but not limited to): reading, studying towards a certificate, diploma or degree. I have 2 family members that in their 50’s decided to go for their degree! This area also involves keeping your brain mentally rested. Hours in front of the TV do not give your brain a rest. In fact, it is probably the opposite! If you keep nodding off to sleep in front of the TV in the evening – go to bed. Do not try and fight sleep. The program you are watching will be repeated and or is not very important anyway. Rather take your body’s hint and get some rest.

3. Spiritual.

I am a Christian so this entails certain things to get closer to God. However, this can apply to which ever god you serve. Practice the religion (or even the discipline) in whatever way is necessary for you to be more at peace in regard to your spirituality.

 

The above basics are like the foundations to your life. With unstable foundations, your life will eventually crumble. It may not happen immediately but it will in the long term. It starts out very subtly and ends (if not corrected) with an almighty collapse.

Catch it early and it is a maintenance issue. Leave it too late – it is a major rebuild from the foundations upwards!

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Everything you have done, everything you have experienced has brought you to the point where you are right now. It is a pretty simple statement but it needs to be looked at. Everything you have done and experienced has prepared you for what you are about to do.

Let’s look at few examples: a professional golfer stands on the first tee in a tournament. Before this moment, he has hit 10 000’s of practice shots and done exercises to prepare him to be able become better. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

A singer stands up front of an audience to give a performance that will make her career and set her up with contracts for a long time. Before this moment, she has sung countless bars of music in countless places. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

The examples are every one’s life. Yours and mine. They do not only have to apply to a Hollywood style come back or meteoric rise to fame and fortune. The difference is how we use ‘everything’. We can use it in 2 ways:

1. We can focus on the negative aspects or ‘bad things’ OR

2. Use the whole experience to focus on the positive aspect in order to become ‘better people’

I will use my year of 2011 and show how to apply the above points.

I held 3 jobs that did not work out,

I only cycled about 1 800 km the whole year – pretty dismal distance from a ‘cyclist’,

I failed more subjects than I passed in terms of studying

And I weighed more at the end of the year than the beginning.

Pretty bad points that I could easily focus on. Easy to point fun at IF you do not have the facts behind these facts and the positive aspects to my year.

The facts behind my year:

The first job was a contract position that was not renewed, the second I left in search of better opportunities and the better opportunity retrenched me.

I only cycled that distance for a few reasons. I had hand surgery that kept me out for 2 months at least.

The Positives:

I am now a father to a perfect baby girl.

I am married to an amazing wife, AND

We have an amazing support structure of friends and family.

The positive experience account for the cycling studying not going to well.

So how am I going to use the year that was 2011? By following the second point above in the following way:

1. Analysis what happened during 2011. Most things were pretty much cause and effect for me so this is pretty simple.

2. Plan the year ahead carefully. Take all events into consideration (obviously as much as is available)

3. Use the support structure I / we have to maintain an even keel throughout the year.

4. Be flexible. Things happen and cause things to change so being able to chop and change (only when necessary) is a very good tool to have.

5. Enjoy life. It takes work but it’s worth it! I love my wife and little girl and intend on enjoying them all the time I have them around.

It is never too late to use your ‘everything’! How are you going to use your ‘everything’?

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