It's Not What You Know It's What You DoI was on the train the other day when I finished the ebook I had been reading. As I got to the end of the book I realized something interesting.

Besides one or two minor details, I knew most of the information in the book. Whilst the book was inspirational (which is good), I realised I hadn’t learnt all that much from reading it.

I know the information already.

What struck me next was astounding. Despite the fact that I know the information already – the kicker is that I am not doing what I know. I know the information but I’m not applying it.

It’s not about what you know. It’s not about how smart you are or how many books you have read or degrees you have or businesses you want to start.

It’s about what you actually DO with that knowledge that changes everything.

I often buy books hoping to learn a particular piece of information, yet the more I read the more I realize that many don’t have the level of detail that I am looking for.

As hard as this may be to accept sometimes – the detail only comes from doing.

Detail comes from experience and doing the task yourself. It comes from stumbling through and learning from mistakes (a concept which scares a lot of people).

It doesn’t matter what you read in a book or learn on the net, it’s what you DO that matters.

What are you planning on DOING today?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Let’s start a DOING revolution!

{ 0 comments }

Sexy Word of the Week - New YearBetween nightly news and Internet news updates it’s easy to wonder – Where the hell is the joy?

With regular reports of chaos and violence it can be hard to feel joyful.

Times of trouble make it even more important to remember there is joy in the world.

Joy is everywhere.

Sometimes it can feel like its hiding, but it’s there!

Joy is in every day people and their actions and dreams. It’s in nature, in love, in beauty, in the animals around us.

It really is everywhere, we just need to tap into it regularly.

Each of us has our own source of inner joy.

One of the easiest ways to connect to joy instantly is to live in the moment. Be in the moment (turn off the television/mobile phone/iPad first and you will find being in the moment a lot easier).

Being in the moment involves connection. Connection is the true source of joy. Connection to your heart, your soul. To the core of who you are.

Feel the joy. 

Let it sweep over you. Be grateful for what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have.

Be in the moment and feel joyous.

Have faith in other people and be true to yourself. Believe in possibility and opportunity instead of limitations.

Smile more. Be kind. Help others. Be thoughtful instead of fearful.

There is joy everywhere – tap into it. Better still be a shining beacon of joy for yourself and others.

Please share the joy via the social media buttons below.

{ 0 comments }

Stop Waiting for AcceptanceIt’s human nature to want to be accepted by the people closest to us.

Yet sometimes the people closest to us can be the most critical and judgmental. Criticism can be rough, particularly when it comes from people we love or respect.

Often we bend ourselves inside out seeking people’s approval. In the process we lose parts of ourselves.

Here are my tips on how to stop waiting for acceptance.

Stop being a people pleaser

You can’t please everyone so do yourself a favour and stop trying.

People pleasers go out of their way trying to make sure everyone is happy, often making themselves miserable or exhausted in the process.

If you are a people pleaser, now is the time to ask yourself why you do it?

Dig deep for the real reasons you try to please everyone. Is it a control mechanism, fear of rejection if you say no, are you seeking validation or recognition, are you doing it to secretly get something back in return? Work out your why and then you have a place to start modifying your behavior.

Stop explaining yourself

Someone criticised my lifestyle recently and I found myself giving a long explanation for why I do certain things. I found myself seeking acceptance.

It wasn’t until a couple of days later, I realised what I had done and how completely unnecessary that explanation was as I have the right to make my own choices.

Feeling vulnerable made me feel like I had to explain myself. Be aware of when this happens and who this happens with (our parents is a classic example). Accept there are moments when we feel vulnerable but each time hold your ground. Over time we can work at not explaining or justifying ourselves.

Align with your values

If you align your actions and thoughts with your values you will have a much stronger sense of self.

Notice I said YOUR values. I didn’t mention anything about your parents, partner, grandparents, sister or brother.

YOUR values.

If you don’t know what your values are, you need to work on that pronto!

Stop trying to get people with different values to accept you

This is particularly relevent for families. Yes we love our families but why do we bend ourselves into pretzels trying to have people accept us who have a completely different set of values to our own?

Why do we let other people who do not share our own values and beliefs define us? 

Seriously when you think about it, it’s a little bit nuts!

Let people have their values and stick steadfastly to yours but stop beating your head against a brick wall trying to get them to accept your values.

People can still love each other and have different values.

Validate yourself from within

Way too often we look outside ourselves for validation. We need other people to tell us we are attractive or smart or valuable as a human being. We let other people define our worth instead or owning our self-worth.

Well enough of that horse shit!

You were valuable as a human being the minute you were born and you have stayed that way ever since.

It’s time we accept ourselves (flaws and strengths combined) instead of relying on other people to do it for us.

People have their own agendas, their own insecurities to deal with and often their own reasons for holding us back or trying to control us.

If your actions and thoughts align with your values, you won’t need outside validation. Your sense of self-worth and acceptance should always come from within.

Some days we struggle (which is completely okay) and need to give ourselves a reminder of who we are and what we represent but our internal light of self-worth is always shining, we just have to be courageous enough to let it led our way and always believe in its presence and power.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends via the social media buttons provided.

Shine on!

{ 0 comments }

Live a Calmer LifeI have always been a highly strung person.

Before we go any further let me explain my version of highly strung.

I walk fast, talk fast, express myself openly and it’s not hard to tell when I am excited about something. Thankfully I don’t eat quickly as it’s bad for your digestion.

Though I may be highly strung, I am definitely not high maintenance – big difference and a whole different blog post!

When talking I can change the topic from one to another without skipping a beat. When I am nervous or excited I talk very quickly (something I have to be careful of during interviews).

Once you get to know me – I talk a lot! The interesting thing is people who first meet me often mistake me for a shy person who doesn’t talk much. My close friends hear comments like this and are quick to ask – “Are we talking about the same person?”

I am a lousy poker player. I am not good at hiding my emotions. If I am upset it will show on my face, if I am happy it shows in spades.  When I am excited I literally jump up and down with enthusiasm.

Don’t get me wrong though I am not overly emotional. I don’t burst into tears at the drop of a hat or have a bad temper. I don’t have massive mood swings.

Over the years however I have matured and calmed down significantly.

Despite being a calmer person, my thoughts and often thought processes show on my face and sometimes that can be a problem.

When I was freelancing I meet with a client regarding some work they wanted done. I later heard through a mutual contact that the client thought that I didn’t want the work. I was shocked. Apparently the look on my face when I was concentrating was perceived as not being interested – which was completely not the case.

Situations at work were I have been perceived as ‘panicky’ or ‘flustered’ have also given me food for thought.

Perception is important.

This has inspired me to start the year with a challenge.

Over the next couple of months, I will be undertaking a Calm Challenge.

I will be looking into ways to be calmer, less anxious and more focussed. Naturally I am inviting you along for the ride!

Each month I will be tackling a different approach. This month I have chosen meditation.

I will be totally upfront, I have never tried to meditate before.

There was one occasion but I’m not sure it counts. Many years ago a guy I was dating tried to walk me through a meditation session. It went something like this.

Gentle shoulder massage, followed by some breathing exercises then he started talking –

Him – Close your eyes. Picture yourself in a tranquil, relaxing place

Me – What sort of place? (This was actually about five questions all in rapid fire succession)

Him – Wherever you choose, it could be on an island or in the mountains. Picture yourself there relaxing.

Me – Another half-dozen questions about my calm peaceful happy place (I needed details dammit). This time I also threw in some wild hand gestures to get my point across.

Him – Oh My God. I give up!

Not verbatim but I think you get my drift. I was more hyper by the time he finished (all those unanswered questions flying around in my head) instead of relaxed.

I am sure I will do much better this time around.

I will be checking in on my progress on my Facebook page – so make sure you head over and join the conversation.

If you do have some experience with meditation, I would love to hear from you. If you have recommendations on particular meditations that worked for you, please let me know in the comments.

I hope you can join me on this challenge.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can benefit from a calmer life.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on meditation.

{ 0 comments }

Sexy Word of the Week - New YearTechnically that’s two words but hey work with me!

Well it’s here – 2015 is upon us!

People are setting goals and planning how they want 2015 to play out.

New Year’s resolutions have been made (and no doubt some already broken).

There is also a lot of New Year/New You lingo flying around.

As much as I appreciate the New Year/New You concept, the fact is you probably didn’t wake up a different person on New Year’s Day.

Whilst New Year presents new beginnings (and we love those) all of our bad habits and fears don’t disappear overnight.

Here are some tips on getting the jump on 2015.

  • Accept and love who you are right now. The new year is about enhancing the wonderful person you already are, not fixing something you consider broken.
  • Accept and understand your flaws. Yep we all have them. Instead of constantly fighting against who you are, understand and work with (instead of against) any weaknesses you have.
  • Look at modifying some of your regular habits. New Year represents a great opportunity to adopt better habits that influence our everyday lives. Read more about changing habits here.
  • Have a positive and motivated outlook for 2015. Attitude matters – big time!
  • Regardless of whether you are goal setting or making resolutions – put them in writing. There is power in the written word.
  • Be clear about what you want. Work out exactly what you want to achieve in the year and then break it down into what steps you need to take each month/week/day to make it happen. Granted you might not have all the answers or strategies straight up, but it’s a good start.
  • Be flexible, adaptable and courageous when plans change.
  • Understand exactly what a year ‘looks like’. I personally love working with a wall planner. Recently I bought a perpetual year planner (much kinder to the environment and cost-effective than the ones you need to throw out every year) and I’m starting to plan out my year. When I first started this project I was amazed how short a year looks. If we don’t set solid goals and take action on them, it’s easy to see how we can get to the end of the year and wonder ‘where did the year go?’Wall Planner 2015
  • Remember planning isn’t all work and no play. Plan your holidays and fun weekends away, book catch ups with friends and celebrate special occasions.
  • Don’t obsess about what you don’t want in 2015, keep your mind focussed on the positive.
  • Accept that sometimes we get off track. That’s okay – stuff happens. Just make sure you get yourself back on the right track. When you get off track be kind to yourself. No negative self-talk or name calling.
  • Most importantly in the words of the fantastic Danielle LaPorte, work out how do you want to feel? Asking yourself how you want to feel will help you choice some kick-ass goals.

I saw a thought-provoking quote the other day that really stuck a chord with me.

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life” – Robin Sharma

I hope you have a joyous, productive, successful and magical 2015.

No doubt we will be talking more about achieving our goals as the year progresses.

Happy New Year Everyone!

If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends.

{ 0 comments }

You Are EnoughWith Christmas over and a fresh year about to begin its time to have a quick self-esteem check.

Whilst many of us are writing out our goals for 2015 and making plans for the year, there’s a very important message we all need to remember.

YOU ARE ENOUGH

Every now and then we need to remind ourselves of this simple fact.

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH

As I mentioned in an earlier post, How to Survive being the Black Sheep of the Family criticism from family members and loved ones can sometimes wear us down.

When this happens we need to flex our self-esteem muscles and remember:

You have the right to make your own lifestyle choices.
You have the right to follow your goals and dreams (even when your loved ones don’t agree with them).

When we are faced with criticism it’s can be easy to question ourselves. We start thinking we aren’t good enough. Our choices aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough…the list goes on.

Just because we choose a different path to our family members or loved ones, does not mean their path is right and ours is wrong!

Don’t let people’s criticism make you doubt yourself or your choices. Hold strong to what you believe in and what will make YOU happy.

I love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

You are enough.

You always have been and you always will be enough, you just have to believe in yourself.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

{ 0 comments }

What is more important to youThis is an easy question for me.

My answer is definitely – experiences!

Travel is a classic example. I could easily buy some new furniture for my townhouse instead of spending money on travel.

There is just one problem with that scenario, furniture won’t make me happy. Furniture won’t make be feel joyous, full of wonder and exhilarated (which is how travel makes me feel).

Buying new furniture, whilst nice, doesn’t get me out of my comfort zone and help me to grow as a person.

Of course travel isn’t the only experience I cherish. I love dining out with friends. I enjoy trying new restaurants, bars and different cuisines.

I enjoy spending quality time talking to my friends. Connecting with people you love is a priceless experience!

I know for some people their priority is accumulating possessions.

Too often people try to buy happiness at a store and are disappointed when their excitement is short-lived.

I can’t help but wonder are we buying ‘stuff’ because we want it or are we chasing a feeling?

Let’s look at buying a new car. Are you buying a car to get you from one place to another or are you buying a status symbol? Is it a car or a symbol of your success? Does the car come with bragging rights and a hope that people will covet your purchase or are you buying the car to boost your self-esteem?

Personally I will pick experiences over possessions any day. I can get more joy from an hour cuddling on the couch with my cat than I can shopping.

If you use your time and money wisely in line with your personal values, you can have amazing experiences as well as some lovely possessions.

When you value experiences over possessions – you will be amazed just how few possessions you need.

Get out there and have more experiences!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

{ 0 comments }

Let’s dive into this week’s photos!

Wine glassesThis week found me celebrating over a wine with one of my closest friends. After 14 years working for one company she’s moving onto a new company and career path. Starting a new job is an exciting and challenging time!

Brisbane 1Brisbane 3Brisbane 2Brisbane (my home town) is experiencing an exciting state of expansion. New bars and restaurants are popping up everywhere. As a person who loves to experience new venues, food and people this is music to my ears!

The Nutcracker 2The NutcrackerOn Friday night I had an amazing experience – I went to the opening night of ‘The Nutcracker’ by the Queensland Ballet. It was my first time at the ballet and an incredible production. Whilst I couldn’t take photos of the performance itself, I captured the red curtain experience just before the show started.

train artI couldn’t resist showing off more artwork from my local train station.

{ 0 comments }

Sexy Word of the Week - Self-Love

Think about how much better the world would be if people were kinder to one another. Think about them being more caring, considerate and thoughtful.

Imagine people being kinder to each other.

Imagine people being kinder to their children. To someone else’s children.

Imagine people being kinder to animals.

Imagine us all being kinder to the environment.

Imagine us being kinder to ourselves. No more name calling and self-loathing (bring that on!)

The amazing thing is we don’t have to imagine it.

We can do it right now. Right this second.

Give a work colleague a genuine compliment or offer to help them with something they are struggling with. Ask a neighbour if they need anything at the local shop. Give someone who needs it your seat on the train. It doesn’t need to be over the top – it just needs to be kind. Make a considerate and thoughtful gesture.

One of the quickest and easiest way to be kind at work is to stop gossiping. It’s not kind to bitch about people.

Every time you find yourself bitching about someone (whether out loud or in your head) make yourself think about their wonderful qualities as well (even if you only say them in your head).

Just as there are a million ways to be mean and nasty there are millions of ways to be kind.  Choose the latter.

Being kind isn’t a one-off. It’s not something you fill a monthly quota for. Actively being kind is something we can practice every day to everyone (not just the people we love).

Kindness isn’t some elusive force we need to conjure up. It’s not a limited resource. We can use it whenever the hell we want and there is always plenty more of where that come from.

If you ever wondered how to follow through on my favourite Gandhi quote

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Kindness seems a pretty good place to start.

Think about your own life, your own personal situation. How can you be more kind?

If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends. Spread the love!

{ 0 comments }

How to Deal with Negative People

All of us have to deal with negative people at some point.

With the holidays fast approaching we may have to deal with more negativity than usual.

Yes we may love our relatives but that doesn’t stop them from being negative and bringing down the whole room.

Here are my tips on how to deal with negative people.

Don’t be one yourself

This one is probably the most important – don’t be a negative Nelly yourself. It’s boring and not fun.

Whilst we all have our tough times there is a big difference between struggling with a particularly hard time in our lives and automatically being negative all the time (often for no actual reason).

Negative people don’t need a trauma or problem to trigger their negativity – they see it everywhere.

Avoid negative people if possible

If possible try to avoid extremely negative people.

I know that’s hard if we work closely with them, are related to them or god forbid live with them.

Talk to them

Sometimes we need to make people aware of their behavior and let them know how it’s affecting them (and us). Sometimes people don’t realise how negative they are.

This should always come from a place of love and understanding (not judgment or anger).

Going passive aggressive on a negative person will only make the situation worse. Much worse! Be caring, gentle and kind but get your point across.

Understand certain subjects are off-limits

If you know that a particular subject is going to trigger a negative outpouring from a particular person or group – avoid talking about it altogether.

Often politics, religion and race fall into these categories. Understand what sets certain people off.

As much as I adore my Mum, I know talking about my Dad is strictly off-limits. Even years after his death, talking about him always triggers a negative reaction. Best not to go there in the first place.

Say something positive

If a negative person is dominating the conversation, it’s time to say something positive.

If you can lift the positivity in the room it can often stop them from being negative (or at least distract them).

Change the topic

To be honest, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it can be a matter of just how negative a person is but give it a shot.

Change the topic to something completely different. If possible talk about something that you know the negative person is genuinely interested in and reasonably positive about.

Sometimes a change of topic can bring them alive and lift the whole conversation.

Leave the room

I have been in this situation before. I have tried everything from changing the topic, to being positive myself to trying to reign in someone else’s negativity.

Nothing worked.

I am certainly not suggesting you chuck a childish tantrum and storm out of the room, banging doors as you go. There are subtle and polite ways to remove yourself from a room.

If someone’s negativity is bringing you down, leave the room and take a breather. Walk off your frustration if possible at the time or do something you find calming to get yourself back in a positive head space.

Reign negative people in

This is particularly important at work. Negativity in the workplace can be particularly toxic.

People spread rumours, gossip and are less productive because they are too busy spreading doom and gloom. A few extremely negative people can make an office an unpleasant place to work.

Don’t be drawn into this sort of behavior.

From a personal perspective you can reign someone in when they are being negative by letting them know that you don’t agree with their point of view or looking at a situation from another angle (preferably a more positive or at least neutral one).

This can be particularly helpful in a one on one discussion. Again be polite with your message.

Don’t catch negativity

Negativity is catching. It’s like the flu, it spreads from one person to the next person till everyone has it and is completely miserable.

Whilst we may not be able to control whether we get a cold or flu we do have influence over our own emotions and actions.

You are in control of how you view the world and the people in it.

Don’t foster negativity. Spread light and joy not darkness and misery.

How do you cope with negative people? Do you have any tips or secrets to share?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends via the social media buttons provided.

{ 0 comments }