Tag Archives: stress management

Tidying Up

It was a dreaded morning this morning. I woke up late, feeling groggy from late night work, clients waiting… I’m sure you all know the feeling!

At the last minute my first client, the one I busy rushing around for, calls and cancels their appointment. Great, I’ve got time to do some stuff!

I look around my house and realise that the stuff that needs doing is tidying up!

Where to start, I don’t want to do it, id rather be doing hundreds of other things – you know, all those fun things that don’t actually exist, but are very important to consider when we are busy doing what ever it is that we don’t want to do…

So I started. I needed to vacuum the carpets, but there was stuff all over them, so I started at the top, books here, clothes and there, washing in the machine, ironing in the basket. Dishes washed, dried, sorted and sacked, grocery cupboard ordered, kitchen cleaned etc. You are all well aware of the routine!

Taking a step back I realised that I needed to apply this same principle to my long term goals!

Where did I want to be in 5 years?

Revisit that goal, look at it, feel it. Now imagine that you have achieved that goal. Imagine yourself turning around and looking back at the path that you followed to get to that goal. Look at what you need to do to tidy up in your thinking and your actions to polish and streamline your pathway to that goal.

Start now!

Make a point of doing on thing every day, no matter how small to polish the pathway to your goal. In so doing you will soon see insurmountable obstacles as mere speed bumps on the road and you will be able to apply your unique wisdom and experience to solving your problems and attaining what ever heights you wish to attain!

Start Now!

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What’s in it for ME?

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

Vince Lombardi

Have you ever wondered what the point of life is?

Why are we here?

Where are we going? How can I make a difference?

These are very normal questions for spiritually aware beings like humans, but they can be overwhelming!

So what is the point of our existence anyway?

A guru can tell you, so can a spiritual teacher, a boss or parent, but ask yourself quickly…

What’s in it for ME?

We live our lives in the best way we can to face our individual, social and collective responsibilities, but who is responsible for you, the individual carrying the world on your shoulders?

The only answer can be YOU!

You are responsible for your on life, health, happiness and perceived success or failure.

Now, before you stamp your feet and feel overwhelmed, take a moment to realise that if you are alive right now, in this moment of reading this, you are coping 100% as you should. You have already survived!

What we want to now do is to polish this survival skill so that you can meet your responsibilities to everyone important to you AND meet the responsibilities that you have towards yourself.

As you take this month to settle into your goals and the new year, take some time to take stock of where you have been personally, and where you would like your life to take you. Make a point of congratulating yourself when your tasks or deadlines have been completed and take a moment to reward yourself.

This does two things;

Firstly it will cause you to prioritise and focus on the task at hand and the quality of the work you are producing. We can only honestly congratulate ourselves if we feel as if we have done a good job. Our work output therefore improves and so does our self worth.

Secondly your awareness will be brought to what ever it is that you are doing. Our purpose will be shown to us so we can polish it or redefine it.

Now ask yourself, what’s in it for ME?

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Community

“We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.”

Haile Selassie

A wonderful statement form an unusual source – wow!

When last did you look around at your local environment and observe where it is that you spend your time – both at the office and at home?

Who are these people who are in close proximity to you?

How do you feel about being part of that specific community?

I recently met an older gentleman through business. He had bee a soldier during the Korean war in the 1950’s. How he introduced himself astounded me. He said;

“Hi! Im XXXX. Im a Marine.”

Up until that moment, I had not realize how great an impact a community could have on the individual. For many years I had been a member of a specific group of people all subscribing to common values and working towards a common goal. It had been relatively easy to join the group because I already shared common ideals and values. I comfortably coasted along in this communal comfort zone for many years, almost taking it for granted. One day petty ego and politics erupted from within the group. I chose to leave rather than compromise my principle.

Strange things started to happen, first I was acutely aware that I was alone – I felt alone even when surrounded by family and friends. That aloneness caused me to distrust friends that were still in the group causing more isolation. This aloneness and isolation served to toughen me up, but was totally unexpected. The community that I had left was an integral part of who I was, and how I identified myself. Membership of that community had changed how I felt about myself in the world.

Who are these people around you, and who are you to them?

As you observe slowly zoom out and look at how our communities overlap. Start with your neighbours, to your street, to your block, to your suburb, to your town, to your city, to your state, to your country , to your world!

Lets be kinder to strangers, they don’t have a support network. Lets strive to build our communities so we can support each other and enhance our experience of life.

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Time Managemen

“Tiiiiiiiiime is on my side, yes it is!” The Rolling Stones

How often had you thought just that and in the next moment you are struggling to cope?

Have you noticed that some days time is like wild fire, you blink and it has gone totally out of control!

Have you ever said to someone, in the middle of a busy day “time is running away with me!”?

The good part is that you are not alone!

I am sure that every single one of us reading this has at some point in our lives experienced the ever increasing pressure of “running out of time.”

If we analyze this phenomenon more closely, we will see that time is not real at all. Time, as Einstein proved, is relative to the person experiencing it and the person observing it from a separate place from the person experiencing it. Our interaction with time therefor is dependent on how we see ourselves able to cope with what is going on around us in that moment. Those of you who have attended one of my stress management seminars will remember that stress is your ability to cope with that ever is going on around you using the resources that you have in that moment. Time therefor adds another dimension, either positive or negative to our stress response.

Managing time is very easy to do;

In the moment, it is as simple as being aware of yourself in any given moment. This self awareness will allow you to assess your available resources and compare them to the circumstance that you are experiencing and then prompt an appropriate response.

Observe – decide – act

To be even more effective in your time management, you should be able at some level to plan ahead. By planning ahead we solve some problems before they arise, and we allow contingencies in strategic places. This makes us more time!

Observe – plan – decide – act

If you get to that point of feeling out of control, take a few seconds to take a deep breath or two and just for those moments, observe the situation. Suspend your pre-conceived ideas of what you need to do and why, just observe for a moment and you will have far greater clarity about the situation. Then you can make better decisions and move forward.

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Trust

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. Golder Meir

How would you define trust?

Is trust about vulnerability, surrender, loss?

Is trust about presuming that someone is better than you, or are you better than them?

Does trust invoke a sense of loss or anxiety,or a sense of peace and contentment?

Have you ever wondered why all these other emotions are mixed up with trust?

If you have a growing child, their whole learning experience could be defined as a transfer of trust. We trust them not to drop the glass of water, to not play with dangerous appliances or tools. Then later, we trust them with education, give them knowledge trusting that they will use it wisely, and if they don’t, we trust that they know not to cause too much damage in their experimental application of knowledge. Eventually we trust them to perpetuate our civilization, world view and culture.

That’s a lot of trust!

If we can trust our children, and those of others, why do we struggle to trust in interpersonal adult relation ships?

We seem to focus on the expected outcome, or feared outcome and then presume that some how our trust will fulfill that outcome. This is outcome based expectation,not trust at all.

Take a moment to re visit your emotional associations with trust. Re calibrate your trust. Find out what pay-back, good or bad, has been associated with your trust.

The secret is to trust ones self first!

Trust yourself to be exactly who you need to be all the time. Trust yourself to be the hero in your own life rather than setting yourself up for failure by using trust to try to dictate others presumed or expected behaviour.

The fact that you are alive and reading this blog shows the incredible amount of trust you already have in yourself. Use that trust as your starting point to drive yourself into your success. In essence, your existence shows you that you are already there. Why complicate it?

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Losing

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. Anais Nin

If you fail at something, you are a loser… right?

If you lose a game, you are not good enough…right?

If you question some forms of authority, you are a loser… right?

If you are different, you are a loser… right?

Hmm, I wonder… If we believed the above statements, and the millions of other similar statements, we would all be losers!

What is wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with losing, one could argue that the driving force of progress and civilization is the ability to lose and use that loss as a foundation for change! The problem with losing is the judgment that results from it, or in some cases actually causes it. This judgment comes from a perceived expectation of yourself or another about what is right and wrong, and as such is nothing more than an idea or a fixed perspective.

Mature people, something which we all strive to be I presume, have the ability to take their losses and use them as a foundation for change. For them, loss is nothing more than fuel which they use to drive them forward into their success.

Losing seems to force a person to find the courage to do three things;

  1. To live life irrespective of the outcome and be responsible for it.

  2. Change one’s approach

  3. Reassess their personal resources and re allocate those resources.

Managing loss allows one to strip away the outer layer of expectation, illusion and false identity. It allows one to find their strength and their true identity, and it allows one to achieve exactly what one wants to achieve without external limitation. We all have only two choices when facing loss, we can either enslave ourselves to it, or we can use it to succeed. As soon as we decide to use loss, the above mentioned three resources guide us towards our success. It is a natural evolutionary progression. All we have to do is decide and act on that decision.

 

Take some time to look at your personal losses in life so far. See how you have recovered from those losses and how you can use your loss to fine tune your path to success.

 

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Compassion and Empathy

Compassion – The emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others – Wikipedia

Empathy – The capacity to recognise emotions that are being experienced by another sentient being – Wikipedia

As a child I was brought up to be compassionate. To love my neighbour, to turn the other cheek, to be an all round nice guy … and a pushover. After many years of contemplation I made the following observations;

Compassion is a rather selfish endeavour who’s main purpose is to help people less fortunate and butter up our personal egos. Compassion presumes the existence of a victim and a saviour, and as such it forces us to make a judgement from our own life experience as to where we fit into the compassion duality – either a victim or a saviour. Only after this observation and judgement, can we embark upon a course of action that twill result in the act of compassion. This was one of those fabled gestalt moments for me!

I realised that there was nothing at all wrong with what and how I was feeling. The problem was that I was trying to force myself to feel and act within the framework of compassion. This in its self was a good thing, but there were many time where it was inappropriate and I was feeling guilty about it!

I then discovered empathy. Empathy recognises the other as they are in the moment. One does not need a reference point form within ones own life to function in and apply empathy. Empathy involves the respect for the other as they are, no judgement, no presumption and no obligation to save. This represents the ultimate respect that any person can have for another. Respect them in the moment. Once we have observed this respect, we can then decide how we can impact on the other in a way that is appropriate for both them and us.

Go out this week and play with these concepts and observe how you feel!

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