Tag Archives: depression

Being More Efficient

We all want to do more, get more, achieve more….

But if we could allocate more time to X project, we would!

Most of us have already committed 100% of our valuable time to existing tasks at hand, so how do we grow our business, career and even social selves?

Have you ever played one of those slide the pieces puzzle games where you have to shuffle pieces around to get from A to B?

Becoming more efficient is a process just like that, we have to prioritise and schedule tasks in such a way so as to get all our stuff done and free up more time.

The best way to do this is to prioritise things in your life.

It is a given that you have responsibility to your family, friends and work, and would not jeopardise any of those. All we need to do is get the order right!

I like to divide my areas of influence into three categories.

  1. Drop everything and run emergency response

  2. Important to attend to before everything else

  3. Not so important, but needs attention

See if you can categorise all areas of your life into similar categories – for the family area in my life, children are 1, siblings and parents 2, others 3. For work, imminent deadlines 1, next weeks projects 2, yearly goals 3. Even vehicle maintenance can be categorised in this way – a cam-belt replacement would be 1, then a service and tyres 2, then air-conditioner re-gas 3.

We are always going to have to deal with a curve ball or two, but if we can re calibrate ourselves regularly and re focus, we will become more efficient, more pro active, less reactive and more in charge of our lives.

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Getting the Timing Right

How long did it take you to learn to ride a bicycle?

How many times did you fall off that bicycle before you got it right?

Why then do we expect that other areas of our lives will run smoothly and hassle free on the first try?

There are so many variables interacting and influencing our lives that is amazing that we get anything together at all!

It seems that the only way that we as humans can progress along a chosen path is to assess all the variables and order them in such a way that the transaction or set of actions progresses in a specific order to get us to our desired outcome. In most cases, if something goes wrong, the whole process stops and we have to re evaluate the order in which we placed the variables and try again. Success in life seems to be all about implementing the right formula with a compatible set of circumstances at the right time.

To get the timing right, you need to observe and be patient!

Observe the outcomes of your actions as they are today. Judge for yourself if the outcome is acceptable to you in relation to your expectation. If you are not satisfied, look at the actions that you took and see where your actions can be improved. Also look at the technology available and decide for yourself if you need to upgrade it or even adapt it to suit your purpose better. It is pointless inventing an iPod like device and not having access to suitable memory technology.

Don’t lose sight of your end goal. Be patient!

Allow other important variables to mature to a point where they are compatible and can add meaningful value to the action that you need to take to successfully achieve your goal.

In most cases you will notice that a lack of success is nothing more that a timing issue. Don’t be too hard on yourself, re assess your actions and try again!

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Filed under anger management, positive thinking, self help, Stress Management and Life Coaching

Finding Meaning in your Work

It happens to all of us at some point in our lives, sometimes even on a regular basis…

We look around at ourselves, our job and how we are spending our time, and we ask ourselves;

What am I doing here, what’s the point?

We would all rather be relaxing on a tropical beach or adventuring up a remote mountain, but we all have responsibilities to meet and are doing the right thing, working hard, getting paid and moving forward with our lives as best we can. However, doing the best we can in the every day grind does not always satisfy us and give us meaning. Meaning comes from a personal feeling of achievement where we can reference ourselves to others or a situation from a position of personal success.

There are three simple things that we can do to allow ourselves to feel that success or meaning every day.

  1. Quantify your achievements daily. Find a task or set of tasks to complete, or goal to achieve every day. Make a point of writing it down in your diary and giving yourself a score out of 5 as to how satisfied you are with your achievement. The will-full completion of simple tasks consciously is a powerful way to program your subconscious for success and helps to create a positive spiral of self worth, achievement and meaning.
  2. Set a fun goal to achieve. You are working hard for your money, so set a simple goal to reward yourself for all that hard work. Start saving some of your hard earned cash for a weekend away with your friends or loved one, save for a new car stereo or BBQ, or new gym trainers. Something that can be achieved with in four to six months. Working towards and attaining that goal serves to deepen or spiral of achievement and meaning that yo started in point one.
  3. Set a realistic goal to become financially free. If necessary sit down with a financial planner and work out a schedule and course of action to follow to attain your financial freedom. Once you are debt free, life takes on new meaning and new purpose. Be prepared to shift your goals and expectations to the financially free option and you will be surprised at how much more motivation and meaning you have in your every day life!

Start today and prove to yourself how good you are!

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I was recently asked to give an impromptu seminar on loneliness. I flippantly agreed in the moment and for the hour before the presentation, I was overcome with a heavy sense of fear. All that suppressed “stuff” was coming back!
The fear, the anger, the insecurity, the self worth issues, the supposed shame of my adolescent suicide attempt…

With trepidation I walked into the seminar room and warmly greeted the people waiting for me. Then, as I started to speak, ask questions and engage with people, everything started to come together, the seminar had a life of its own and we all held on and enjoyed the ride!
We found that there was a difference between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness was agreed as being a time when you are contented with being yourself in the moment. At this point, loneliness was agreed to be a feeling of loss or lack when one is alone.

The discussion deepened and we explored why there was a difference between the two. We concluded that the problem arose in us when we compared ourselves to other people or circumstances. How we feel about ourselves when we are with another person dictated the amount of loneliness that we felt. It had very little to to with us at all! This explained why we feel alone in the company of others!

The simple solution to this would be to change the way we see and feel about ourselves. This will automatically change how we feel about ourselves in relation to other people. Try doing a simple meditation every day. Sit quietly some where for ten to fifteen minutes and be alone with your mind and your thoughts. Suspend all judgement and expectation for those few minutes, be humble and gentle with yourself, just allow yourself to be who you are right there in the moment. As you repeat this meditation, you will notice that your loneliness slowly changes to aloneness and that life becomes more satisfying.

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Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Three basic yet vitally important principles, so important that they were integral in the evolution of our current civilisation!

What is Brotherly Love?

The clichéd version would be to love every person as your Brother or Sister. A more mature understanding of this concept would be to try to mutually understand the beliefs, culture and world view of other people. They may do things differently form what we are used to , but their way in not necessarily wrong. Being willing to tolerate and understand others in the first step in achieving Brotherly Love. In an ideal world, others would be willing to tolerate and understand us just as we would be willing to do the same for them.

What is Relief?

Relief is an easing of pain or suffering. It encompasses charity, good will, compassion and empathy and all those other wonderful mutually beneficial actions. The easiest way to bring relief into your life is to show it to others. You don’t have to necessarily tithe your wealth to the poor, or limit yourself in any way – a simple gesture of not parking in a disabled parking space, or holding the lift for an older person, or someone struggling with lots of packages, making a cup of tea for a family member while making one for yourself – all small and seemingly insignificant things on their own, but possibly important for the recipient. By actively exercising relief for others, our attention is naturally brought to our own needs which we can then attend to as appropriate.

What is Truth?

Truth is the absence of deception. Truth has to work in two areas of our lives – we need to be truthful to ourselves in our own lives and truthful to others in our engagements with them. Truth serves to simplify our lives. It is not always easy to be truthful, to see circumstances for what they are, or to speak your truth to someone, but as soon as you have engaged truth, circumstances and life changes. Truth in essence is the eternal liberator. Truth automatically engages our responsibility and with the two combined we can move towards success in our lives and our relationships.

Go out and have a BRT day and feel how liberating it is!

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Feeling Down

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

So, we are all human, fallible and doing the best that we know how to do to survive. We all have good days and bad days and in most cases we remember the extremes of the highs and lows, some of us even go to therapy to try and understand the lows and try to eradicate them – but what is the point of all of this emotion or feeling?

No one but ourselves and possibly a significant other even has time to notice how we are feeling, so why do we have these extremes of emotion at all?

What is the end goal?

What is in it for us?

Emotions, being the result of complex hormonal releases in the body, which themselves are a response to external physical or internal thought stimuli, seem to be some form of mechanism which we use to learn, grow and gauge our behaviour or performance in relation to both those around us and our personal expectation of ourselves.

As best as you can, observe your internal dialogue, see if your thought process is harmonising with your goals in life. If there is a conflict in this thought process, observe the difference between what is being thought and expected, and the actual expected reality of the outcome of the physical path that you are on.

Once you have observed this, our subconscious automatically starts to bring our thoughts and actions back into harmony. This process will bring about achievement of physical material goals, but not necessarily a completion and satisfaction of our emotional goals.

The only tool that I have found so far that enables me to break the feeling of “being down” is the concept of gratitude. Not the gratitude that is forced upon us by a well meaning parent…”You had better eat all your vegetables because they are expensive, I worked hard to be able to afford to buy them for you and there are starving people in the world who are not a lucky as you are to have the opportunity to eat these kind of vegetables in the first place!”

Rather, gratitude that you can cultivate by saying “thank you”, for example, to the man or woman who served you the soda at a fast food place. In that thank you, for that moment, be grateful for everything that has brought you to the point of purchasing a soda – all the people who worked to produce it, mine the minerals that make up the container, the transport people and the people who created transport machines, the person serving you the product, what they had to do to get up early, get to work, do what ever is required to bring them to that point to pass you the soda…

The simple act of gratitude allows us to emotionally upgrade ourselves, to bring us to a state of balance and wisdom from where we can consolidate and move forward with peace, strength and confidence.

Thank you!


Filed under Stress Management and Life Coaching

Self Worth

Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling, and everything to do with how you treat yourself. Kris Carr

What is your worth?

How many of YOU are there in the world?

How good were your grades in school?

What do you do for work?

How much money do you earn?

Is this really a definition of who you are?

There are so many things in your life that make you who you are. The way you answer the phone when your friend calls you, the way you make a sandwich for your child, the way you fill the kettle after making tea or coffee at work so others can have some too.

All these little things that you do for yourself and for other people are the important things! Society has got things the wrong way round – any one can study hard and get good grades, bun not every one is inventing space ships or worrying about their sick pet while in class. Simple examples yes, but without those unique, nu-noticed things that we do, we would not have a society at all!

We are a collection of very unique individuals working together to move our selves, our family, our work, our culture, our country and our planet forward. Everything is based on you, your world view, your response, your decisions and your inputs. Your education and conditioned interactions with others is designed specifically to make you useful to the collective, but with out your individual interpretation, understanding and application of that education or enculturation, there would not be a collective at all, there would be boring monotony going no where and achieving nothing.

You the individual are valueless and priceless. Your ideas and inputs to your world are totally unique in that moment and can not be copied or replicated efficiently.

Next time you feel small and inadequate because you feel as if you don’t know enough, or earn enough or what ever it is, take a deep breath and remember that you are YOU, perfect, whole and complete as you are, and no one can ever judge you for that or take that away from you.

Go out this week and be who you need to be for you!



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Filed under depression, self help, Stress Management and Life Coaching


Your depression is connected to your insolence and refusal to praise.


WOW – that’s a hardcore statement!

As a therapist, I have often been told that I am blunt, and to the point. I refuse to see a client more than four or possibly five times regarding the same issue!

As such this statement of Rumi’s above resonates well with me and my approach. Lets explore it further.

“Insolence and refusal to praise” Up until now, I had not considered these concepts at all in my understanding of depression. The root cause of depression is anger that has been repressed and internalized. It naturally follows that anger breeds “insolence and refusal to praise”!

Where does your anger come from?

Anger is an emotion that is caused by the secretion of a specific mix of your stress hormones. As such it is the result, or the response to something out side of you. If we observe anger, we will soon notice that it is the result of an expectation that we have not been able to meet.

Ask yourself quickly what that expectation of yourself is. Where does it come from and why do you think that you need to meet it. In most cases, our expectations of ourselves and our behaviour come from society, parents, belief systems, and pier groups.

Take a long, hard look at that expectation. Decide right now if that expectation is appropriate for you today. If it is appropriate, make a point of achieving it. If it is not appropriate, let it go.

once you have gone through this simple process, read Rumi’s statement again… Insolence and inability to praise. The insolence should be diminished, and it will be easy to praise because your anger is no longer holding you back.

Depression is endemic in our societies today because of the unrealistic expectations that we have accepted in our lives. Make a point of breaking that expectation cycle by firstly following your anger to the core of who you are, and secondly by doing something simple every day to make yourself feel good – this could be as simple as making a stranger smile on the bus in the morning!

Go try it – I dare you!





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“Emotion is 24 times more powerful than logic!” Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466 – 1536)

From the depths of despair to soaring on the wings of love, both wonderful and important feelings, but what causes them, where do they come from how can my body stay the same and my feelings change?

How can I feel strong and confident in one moment, then suddenly feel worthless and insecure, or go from happy to sad, or hate to love?

As Erasmus or Rotterdam figured out many years ago, our emotions and our feelings are the prime motivators in our lives. All of your decisions are enhanced and or motivated at some level by our emotions.

From a simple physiological perspective, emotions are a result of hormone secretion in our bodies, specifically our stress hormones. Hormones are caused to be secreted by things external to us. So, something happens in our world, our body reacts physically by secreting hormones which gear up our physical body for a response. At the same time, the hormones motivate us emotionally to follow through with our physical response. In other words, we are hard wired to pay more attention to our hormones than to our logic because sometimes in a survival situation, we will have to do things that defy logic!

If you observe your world, you will notice that institutions such as political parties, advertising agencies, religious institutions, conservation lobbies, and even private clubs or institutions all use emotion to re enforce your feeling of superiority, inferiority, caring, anger and even love. It is the only way that they can by pass your reasoning logical mind and convince you to follow their ideas, even if you don’t want to!

In the past I have been writing a lot about your world view, how you see yourself in your world and how you are responding to the circumstances presented to you. If you now observe your responses and look for the underlying emotional trigger, you will be able to see two things;

First you will see what emotion is being used to trigger the response, and second, you will see what it is within you, that strength or insecurity, that is being pandered to by the trigger.

Armed with these two pieces of self awareness, you can then re assess the appropriateness of your intended response and fine tune it to your expected outcome. You will be more consciously aware of yourself in your world and will be better able to make sound decisions that positively affect you.

Ask yourself;

 How am I feeling now?

What is that feeling?

Where does it come from?

What result do I want?

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