Taking control of Fate.

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“I have noticed that even people, who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
Steven Hawking

Isn’t it funny how we can all too often decide to abdicate our own responsibility, our own power to change things and hand it over to Fate? Is that not just a bit of a “cop out” an easy way of giving up or giving in and not just making that little bit extra effort to get it right and make it work?
Don’t get me wrong I honestly believe that if you have given your all and did everything you possibly could to get something to succeed and it doesn’t then the chances are there is a good reason for that and something else may well be coming along that is much more suited to meet your needs. It may sound glib but I base that belief on looking back at past experiences in my life that have not worked out as I had hoped or planned .However instead of being sad and disappointed about them when I look back I can clearly see that there was a good reason for them not to work and that what eventually replaced them was infinitely better for me in the long run. Yet, despite knowing that, I would never advocate not trying to change your life for the better or not focussing on your dreams or suggest that you leave your life to see what fate has in store for you. To me that is foolish and will more than likely leave you with a very negative and frustrated outlook on life. I believe that fate needs a helping hand, yours. The initial effort and desire to achieve something has to come directly from you. If it doesn’t you are simply unable to recognise the opportunities that arise around you. These only become visible to you when you actually start to look  out for and expect to find them. And ,you expect this  when you are actively pursuing your dream and your awareness is raised. If you are simply sitting back and waiting on life to suddenly start for you without making the effort to start it yourself, then opportunities will pass you by and you will be simply not aware of them passing. By switching on your brain to look for positive ways to help you to find whatever it is that you are looking for, you also send out a signal to the universe that you are ready to receive.
In life seldom do we get what we want handed directly to us on a plate and that is not a bad thing as part of the pleasure we can all get from life is achieving something we have worked hard for. Working hard for something and succeeding makes us happier and keeps us healthy, as long as we make sure we balance our life and it is not all work and no play of course. So today my advice is simple, instead of waiting for your life to change for the positive, change it yourself. Make the effort to start taking the action you need to turn your life in to the one you have always wanted it to be. No more excuses, just positive steps towards a new you and give your fate a helping hand.
Have a great Day. Karen x

Feed the positive and let go the negative.

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Remember ,always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And ,then you destroy yourself. Richard  M Nixon.

Love him or hate him this is actually very good advice .We need to learn to be true to our own beliefs and take responsibility for our own decisions and always make sure we are totally committed to what we are doing to get the best out of our lives

Every decision has a consequence some good, some bad and we cannot avoid that, but if our initial  choice  and subsequent action was based completely on what we believe, with a positive heart and intent, then we are less likely to regret our actions and more likely to learn positively from them and move forward in life.

Sometimes, particularly when we have given a 100% and someone then criticizes us, it is very easy and quite natural to get irritated and angry with them for not recognizing the effort we have made and the positive intention behind it. Sometimes this misunderstanding is created because of poor communication skills and that can easily be resolved. However ,occasionally it is not possible to resolve such issues and we have to accept that we do not always see things the same way as each other and we must just accept that different people have different opinions and let any angst we have had towards them go, as we go on our own way.

The most important thing is not to carry that hurt or anger on with us and allow it to impact our next choice, our next decision or make us not try as hard or even worse withdraw from doing anything. That is actually not achieving anything other than letting someone, who has perhaps wronged you or judged you unfairly win .It means that you are in fact hurting yourself twice as much as they could. Firstly by taking their unfair criticism to heart and secondly by then letting it change you as a person. People only have the power over us we choose to give them. If we change ourselves to solely meet another person’s needs but not our own then we are changing for the worse and not the better. We must learn to have enough self-confidence to have a positive belief in our own abilities, which then enables us work in partnership with others. This in turn creates healthier and happier relationships and a healthier happier life.

Opening Doors

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I have three daughters who have all chosen to go to University to further their education before starting their careers. The youngest is just in her first year at university and loves her course. She has no idea yet where it will lead her and has no set career in mind at the moment she is just waiting to see what subject inspires her before deciding on her career path, but she feels strongly that for her, obtaining a degree is the best way forward. The older two girls both have honours degrees in the same subject but both then went on to take a post graduate and a master in an entirely different field from each other, in order to open the door to their chosen careers. I have also got friends that have left school without any qualifications and worked their way through various jobs, using experience from each one to open a door to the other and friends that gave up high powered careers to follow their hearts to find happiness. Some I have known followed a less easy route at the beginning and seemed to be going to have a lot of unhappiness because of their original choices yet at some point have said “enough” and have successfully managed to turn their lives positively around. Others have concentrated on their families and made that their career. All very different, yet they all share a drive and a determination to move forward in life towards their goals. Each of them has different skills, strengths and interests but each share a belief that they alone have responsibility to guide their life in the direction that they want it to go and a knowledge that they can change direction when they feel they need to or want to.

 So today when I counsel people I am often amazed when I hear their limiting belief that because they have made a mistake, made the wrong decision, their entire life must be spent still going down the wrong road because it is the one they are presently on. I am amazed and surprised because as far as I am aware there is no rule that says you cannot change what you are doing. To me it is simple. When something isn’t working do not keep doing it. At any point in your life you have the ability to stop and change direction. Antony Robbins says “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten” He is of course absolutely right. So why keep doing it? We can all be guilty of this at some point in our lives and for various reasons. Sometimes we do because we feel that we will be considered a failure if we change, if we admit we have got it wrong. But, if we really stopped to think about that reason surely we actually fail by not admitting our need to find a new way of doing something or a new method of working through a problem? Sometimes other people put pressure on us to keep at it when clearly we know it is not right for us and yet we allow them to continue to exert this pressure on us because we perhaps fear upsetting them or being judged harshly by them. Whatever the reason, if it is clearly not working then we need to change what we are doing.

Once we actually stop and recognise that something is not the way we had planned it to be or thought it would be and admit that to ourselves, we can then take the first constructive steps to being able to make positive changes and probably feel better than we have for a long while.

We naturally evolve and change as we grow and learn. To make full use of that new learning and new knowledge we must not be afraid of change. I often hear “I can’t do anything about it. I am just leaving it up to fate “That is fine if you have exhausted every other avenue but without at first trying then to me that is just an  opt out of taking personal responsibility for your life. Yes, I believe that fate plays a part in life but that can be used to guide us. Just because one door was closed doesn’t mean that all doors are. Often another opens. Perhaps in a direction different than you first thought but open nevertheless. Opportunities are all around if you look. Perhaps to take advantage of them you need to push yourself a little harder or take a chance or two but they are there. When Tony Robbins was asked what prompted him to change his life he said “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life eight years ago, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things that I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming”

In other words he pushed himself to make positive changes by deciding what he now wanted to invite in to his life.

As always the choice and ability to find happiness and contentment lies within our own actions and reactions to life.

 
 

A time to Change

 

 

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“Change isn’t easy…. changing the way you live means changing what you believe about life. That’s hard…When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change because the misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.”

Dean Koontz

It is unfortunately very true that sometimes we cling to the familiar far longer than we should even when it is causing us pain to do so. We can hang on to failing relationships, bad habits and destructive attitudes because of fear and that very fear  can deplete us of the energy we require to change things around .Creating a sort of double edged sword for us to hurt ourselves with. Often what then happens is that we need to hit what we feel is rock bottom before we decide that enough is enough and find the necessary incentive and energy required to let go  of that old negative behaviour and belief system which has been pulling us down. It doesn’t need to be that way though. We can choose at any time to say “enough” and take positive action to let go of our self-destructive behaviour and relationships.

It is a bit like wearing old comfortable clothes that we know are well past their best. Sometimes in order to make ourselves wear the new clothes and “break them in “we need to dump the old ones in the bin. If we keep them, even in the back of the cupboard, we will occasionally take them out and put them back on. Likewise when we decide that we are going to adopt a more constructive and positive approach to dealing with our lives we must make sure that we discard completely our old bad habits in order to create new better ones. That means that we change our habits by changing our attitude. This has to be done consciously at first and daily we must remind ourselves of why we want and need to change.

To assist us maintain daily changes we can use post it notes around the place to have visual reminders and in addition to those, using positive daily affirmations can also  be very helpful. To begin with it will feel strange but if we focus on the positive things that we wish to bring in to our lives it will make it easier for us to change. Persistence and perseverance are the keys to building a  new and more positive,constructive attitude to living life to the full. If you are consistent in your desire to bring about a new you  and continue with your new positive daily habits ,it won’t take long before you will feel as comfortable with the “new “you as you did with the old.

How to live forever.

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Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It is the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.

Trey Parker.

My Aunt died this week after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. It is not her death that we shall remember though it is the full and wonderful life that she led and shared with us which will stick forever in our minds. It made me think about what we consider as successful? Is it achieving our dreams, making lots of money being very intelligent? Or, is it what we leave behind in memories when we go?

It is long been said that you can’t take money with you when you depart this world so the making of it here must surely be to make yourself and those you love comfortable. My aunt and her husband worked hard to provide a comfortable life for their family. They used their earnings to provide essentials but also to ensure that they had many happy holidays together and were able to do a lot of fun things as a family. The money was not put in the bank for a rainy day it was utilized every day to make life happier. Quite late in age my aunt decided to do an Open University degree to challenge her mind. She had not had the opportunity to go to university when younger as money was tight and she did what was expected and left school going straight to work as a typist then later as a private secretary. She studied for this whilst working and caring for her family. Proving to us all that if you want something enough you will find a way to go get it. She passed with flying colors, as we all knew she would. She had a quiet determination to achieve without fuss or drama in a practical hard working way. We can all learn from that. Anything worthwhile takes application and effort but if we want it and believe enough in ourselves, nothing should stop us from getting it.

When retired she moved with her husband and youngest son out to Australia to live near her eldest son who had recently been widowed. She never believed home was a particular place but rather it was wherever the people you love were. She embraced the Australian life with vigor doing things she had not had the opportunity to do back home when working. She went horse riding for the first time and learned how to make the most amazing 3d cards. She began to dressmaker and learned embroidery. Presents sent home were always beautiful, thoughtful and just perfectly suited to the recipient’s needs. She traveled back to Scotland several times and despite her age was never put off by the exceptionally long flight. She was someone who didn’t just talk about doing something, she went and did it. We had many long conversations through the help of the amazing Skype application. We would have tea and cake and feel as if we were actually sitting in the front room having a chat and not thousands of miles apart. When I would say I am thinking about doing this or that her advice was always the same “life is too short to waste too much time thinking about doing something. If you want to do it go do it, stop talking about it and if you don’t let it go and move on to the next thing” .I would laugh and make excuses “it’s not that simple or I don’t have the time, money etc.” She would simply smile; shake her head and say again “if you want it enough you will find a way, there is always a way if you have enough desire”. Of course she was right and sometimes all I needed to hear was her quiet conviction that I could do it and that I wasn’t daft thinking I could.

Her physical passing is a huge loss to her family of that there is no doubt. Her presence in all of our lives though is too strong to ever truly be lost. Now that is what I call being a true success.

Its not always personal

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Since others have to tolerate my weaknesses, it is only fair that I should tolerate theirs. William Allen White

I wish I had read this quote when I was assisting on a course in Glasgow a few years ago. The course was being held in a Glasgow hotel. Every day when I went in the hotel receptionists would say a cheery good morning and ask how I was and we would exchange small pleasantries. That was every receptionist except one. Each time she was on she would bury her head in her desk as I passed. No matter how cheery the “good morning” I shouted to her she would ignore me or worse just look like through me as if I wasn’t there. As each passed I grew more and more fixated about trying to get her to acknowledge me. I went out my way to be friendly and to smile and be nice. It didn’t seem to matter what I did she completely ignored it. Finally I thought okay she wins I will just ignore her too and for the remainder of the week I walked past without glancing her way or I acknowledged the receptionist beside her but not her until finally the week was over. As I said goodbyes to the other course participants one of them excused herself from the rest of the group and explained that she was going to over to speak to Mary, the receptionist that had ignored me all week. Fortunately I said nothing as she went on to tell us all that she knew Mary through her church and that Mary had been going through an awful week. Her mother who was suffering from dementia had been admitted to a home and her cat of twenty years had just died. She expressed amazement that Mary had managed to drag herself in to work but had done so not to let her colleagues down. She said that she could barely function and that everyone who knew her were very concerned for her wellbeing because of the stress she was under. I felt immediately ashamed of myself as I had not for one moment considered that she might be unhappy had just thought her rude.

Why had I made it personal? Perhaps my own insecurities were part of the problem or my ego; after all I was supposed to be a good communicator. Whatever the reason I have made sure never to judge another like that again. For me it was a lesson well learned. Time and time again though, as I watch others reacting to people the same way that I had and taking a strangers behaviour personally, I want to stop and tell them my tale. None of us know the burdens another person carries yet often we act as judge and jury. Many times we react perhaps because it is easier to take out our own frustrations and angst against a total stranger than deal with the issues that are making us feel so fragile. It could be that we are all a bit stressed with the multiple daily roles that we have to do and the slightest break of our rules can push us over the edge in to an overreaction. Whatever the reason or whatever the apparent justification I  now  believe it is better to “turn the other cheek” and walk away rather than add to the angst and misery another person may be suffering. Who knows perhaps one day it could be someone you love or you who forgets to say hello or inadvertently cuts someone off in their hurry to get home because of an emergency or problem. Wouldn’t you like to think that they would be “cut some slack”   rather than potentially be harassed or hurt by another person’s frustration and anger when they were already distressed?  It goes without saying that of course you would.

I now try and treat others, even those that are apparently rude with the same care I would want others to show my children or anyone that I care about. I feel better for it. Sometimes I need to take a deep breath and count to ten but always when I manage to walk away or drive away without an angry exchange I feel better. It really does take practice but for me it is worth it.

This quote by Phillips Brooks sums up my new found philosophy “Be patient and understanding. Life is too short to be vengeful or malicious”.

It takes a lot of energy to be angry or nasty, energy I would rather keep to use for something more constructive and positive. I feel stronger being able to walk away from negative situations with strangers I am unlikely to ever meet again and happier that by walking away I am not contributing to the negativity around them or their pain. If you have been finding it easy to react negatively to others behaviour why don’t you just take a deep breath and walk away?  See how much better you feel for doing it and move on without dragging someone else’s negative baggage with you.

How to win friends and Influence yourself

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“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” – Bob Moawad

How many of us waste our time seeking affirmation from others to find out who we really are? Teenagers often go through a stage of looking to their peers to find themselves. Trying to conform and fit in to a group even if it is the group who believe they are non-conformists! Generally they band together which is strange because they say they value their individuality. When we mature we are supposed to know ourselves and to have grown to be self-confident and self-aware but often this is not the case. Each relationship we enter into we should be going in as an equal, yet often I find adults trying still to fit in and relying on others daily to tell them if they have succeeded or failed. The problem with this is obvious. If you give away your personal power to another person or group, even if they love you, then you are giving away control of your life and the responsibility for your decisions. Some think that this is a way of feeling secure but it is in fact a false security. Someone else’s or a groups values, beliefs and goals even if very similar to our own, are not our own, and they are going too unconsciously and consciously influence your decisions based on what they believe is right for you rather than what is actually right for you. Giving them this power makes you vulnerable to not being able to achieve what you want or be who you really want to be and nine times out of ten that leads to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

To have a belief in one’s own abilities is essential to live a happy, contented life. We can make mistakes that we wish we hadn’t but that is a learning process through which we can grow as a person. If these decisions were not ours in the first place then how can we learn from them?

“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine.” – Byron Katie

We need to start by actually liking and having confidence in ourselves. In order to find ourselves again we need to reconnect to what makes us function. What do we hold dear to us? What in life do we consider important? Are we being true to ourselves or are we following someone other life plan? What do we wish if anything that we now had in our lives? What would we like to get rid of? Answering these questions gives you a basic structure for change and self-discovery. Start gradually and work your way through the list creating a new you with recognition of new strengths and abilities as well as building upon those you already have. Remember as they say “Rome was not built in a day” just taking the first step on the path to self-acceptance is a big achievement.

When we like and have confidence in ourselves a wonderful thing happens, we begin to attract like-minded people who like us too. It is not a case of becoming so egocentric that we begin to believe that we can do no wrong and therefore alienate others .Rather it is a gentler acceptance of ourselves as doing the best we can, with the best of intentions and finding companions along the way that love and accept us for who we are rather than who they want us to be. If we do the same with others we will create a happier healthier environment for us all to live and journey in.

When we stop looking to others to tell us whether we are doing the best we can and start instead to look at ourselves, we take back control of our life and can then start to steer it in the direction we want. Those close to us can help us on our journey, as we can help them on theirs, now working together as an equal team and no longer as extra baggage. Life is a journey to be experienced and not just tolerated. When we reach the end of our journey on this plane we should as Frank Sinatra said be able to say we did it our way.