Research shows that relationships are central to our health and wellbeing and can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our life. There can be nothing more important than having someone to whom you can speak, and to know that they care for your welfare. Friendships can permeate your life and have an impact on your career, marriage, family, children and health – they can enrich your existence every day.
However, for a friendship to work, there has be a balance between the two parties – not one person having their needs met whilst others are overlooked.
Of course, not all relationships prove to be long-lasting. Unfortunately, there are instances when a friendship can turn sour and instead of it bringing happiness into your life, it deteriorates and starts to do more harm than good. Continue reading →
I am a firm believer in the value of face-to-face communication. However, over the past few weeks, I have been impressed by a story of hope and support – that has resulted from an on-line relationship.
A tragic life change
Johan is a handsome, 24 year-old male client of mine who was a landscape gardener. He was referred to me by his doctor after a serious car accident that has left him unable to walk and only able to move about in a wheelchair. The challenges ahead of him are great. He has had to give up his work, which has always been the love of his life.
For some years, Johan has been an avid blogger on social media and now has thousands of followers. His blog has always provided a creative outlet for him after a day of being out in the open. He has also written about his accident: how it has changed his life and how he can never go back into his much loved profession. But he has blogged about his experience in a positive way; how he has been determined to overcome his disability, knowing that there were others far worse off than he. Despite having frustrating days, Johan understands that he faces the same issues as others who have been permanently injured and this sense of shared identity has been crucial in promoting strong on-line relationships.
His many readers have developed a strong empathy with Johan and when his mother recently wanted to raise funds for an electric wheelchair, she made contact, via his blog, to his existing followers. Within days, not only was the money raised for the wheelchair but also offers of job opportunities also came. Continue reading →
Time flies by so fast that it is difficult to realise that we are about to say ‘Goodbye!’ to 2014 and ‘Hello!’ to the New Year. You probably have many things to be thankful for over the last twelve months but, like the rest of us, you have also had your challenges.
Maybe your ‘life script’ did not turn out as you would have liked – but then life often throws up unexpected challenges to be overcome, such as health issues or relationship problems. That is the order of our lives and with a new year ahead of us, it is worth remembering to be grateful for what we actually do have – our family, our friends, our work and all those special moments in our lives.
Of course, it is very easy to feel sorry for ourselves when things go wrong. Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you wanted or you lost a personal relationship. Your health may have deteriorated and such issues are often tough calls to handle particularly if they come together.
But that doesn’t really help us to move on. In order to do that, we need to take full responsibility for what is in, and what is out, of our control. There is no point in wasting time, energy or even money on that over which you have no control. However, there is a point in accepting a particular situation as it stands and seeing how you can amend your life script to take account of it. Your life-script may not be within your own control, but the attitude that you exhibit in your approach to situations that you encounter, is within your determination and can positively influence outcomes in your favour. Continue reading →
“That’s perfect Anita– well done. Have a gold star!” Remember those nostalgic days when you were in school and you were told to chase those straight A’s? How quickly a perfectionist learns to live by the words ‘I’m so pleased, this term I was top of my class’ and to enjoy the thrill of impressing others – and themselves – at the same time. A perfectionist would cry if they only managed a B+ or ended up only in second place. Some children hated school, but the chances are that the perfectionist child loved it as his, or her, success was quantifiable by the results of exams, assignments and teacher feedback —particularly when they made the grade. The maxim of ‘work hard and succeed’ worked like a dream for them.
However, those gold stars can sometimes cause a lifetime of frustration and personal dissatisfaction. In the adult world, success is measured differently and, not being structured in the same way as in school, there may well be times when you will miss the ‘good old school days’ where an A+ was all that to which you aspired.
Jane is a client of mine but is currently between jobs i.e. temporarily unemployed. Her friends tell her that she is lucky to have time on her hands – however, she does not see it that way. She wakes up in the morning with no reason to get out of bed. Her husband, Gerry, gets ready to go to work, as usual, by 7.15 whilst she lies in bed thinking about what she can do to fill her day.
This is a time of great challenge for Jane. The very word ‘unemployed’ fills her with anxiety. She understands that she was made redundant because of re-organisation within the firm and that it was not a reflection upon her work. Her boss was very understanding and said he would give her a good reference but they just had to ‘let her go’.
So, from one moment of being Jane Reese, HR Assistant, she became Jane Reese – unemployed! She didn’t think it would matter to her. She would catch up on emails, rewrite her CV, go for interviews and get another job. It all seemed rather simple, initially. It was Summer time so she would also use the period to recharge her batteries. But then Summer came to an end. She had psyched herself up for countless job interviews but nothing had materialised. She thought she would certainly have found a new position by then, but she hadn’t. Jane tried hard to keep positive but this was becoming harder as she received one refusal after another. So what to do? She knew she had to take some action to keep herself active, positive, alert and confident.
So, she came to seek my advice and we looked at various options for her: Continue reading →
At a dinner party the other evening, we were debating whether we were born lucky or was it that we make our own luck. My own sense is that we can create our own good fortune by taking control of our own life and being aware and receptive to opportunities that come our way, at various times. It is also about recognising that there is far more going ‘for’ us than ‘against’ us. By recognising chances that are ‘for’ you and acting upon the options that are presented, you’ll be able to achieve many of your aspirations.
Even those individuals who are sceptical, have every opportunity to create their own luck. Being ready to seize opportunities when they present themselves is up to every one of us. Whatever our age or situation in life, it is never too late to exercise control by identifying choices and then choosing those that will benefit us. Of course, sometimes we may make the wrong choice but we can rectify that by then making another! Continue reading →
At London’s Wimbledon, Scotland’s No 1 tennis player, Andy Murray, ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion with a hard-fought victory over world’s top-ranked player, Novak Kjokovic, from Serbia.
Murray, 26, converted his fourth championship point in a dramatic game to win 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to claim his second major title. Supported by a home crowd of 15,000 spectators, Murray, was watched on TV by a peak of 17.3 million viewers, making it the most watched TV moment of 2013. Continue reading →
The celebration of the London Olympic Games are now over. The winners, some crying with tears of elation, will return home with their medals to enjoy their newly acquired national status. They are the ones who will have worked tirelessly for many years to finally enjoy the results of their achievements. There were also, believe it or not, some tears from journalists, caught up in the emotion of the winners – and also the losers who just failed to make the grade who feel they have let down their country.
Although we are told that it is the competing that is the most important, and not necessarily the winning, we must not underestimate the impact that disappointment will have on each competitor.
Of course, we know that everyone manages disappointment differently. Some athletes
may feel that their failure to win a medal is to have absolutely failed their friends, family and trainers whilst for others it may merely increase their determination to do better next time.
Those who fail to win may feel angry and cross at their lack of concentration or physical ability to be the best, and while they congratulate the winners, they are secretly having to manage not only their pain but also their feelings of disappointment for themselves and for those that have supported them over so many months and years of training.
These are the people that I think of at this time. Of course, for every winner there is a loser and we cannot all be champions: life is full of disappointments which we have
to manage whether we are Olympic competitors or corporate managers. We all have dreams and aspirations not yet realised. Illness, in ourselves or our family, may get
in the way of us achieving our full potential. Hopes are often dashed and life, at times,
just seems so unfair.
Life is not a straight line – there will always be ups and downs along the way. We cannot always sail on the crest of a wave. Situations do not always work out; our vision
does not always become a reality and too often, we don’t come home with the gold, or even the bronze!
We are not all Olympic competitors, but in one form or another, we will have had to manage disappointment and the powerful emotions that it releases. It happens to all of
us, rich or poor, old or young, man or woman. It is a fact of life that will happen to you and although it cannot be avoided, how you deal with it will determine the effect it has on your life and the extent to which you can control that effect. Disappointment is a combination of two things: your expectations and perceptions of an event and its actual resolution.
Here are some ways to help you to move on:
Treat the event as a moment to consider what you can learn about yourself from the situation. Reflect and take the learning
out of the situation so that you can use it for another time.
Allow yourself space to grieve and sufficient time to manage the loss. It is important to acknowledge that it did
happen, to acknowledge the disappointment and to move on.
Take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others. Whilst, other people or factors may have influenced how a particular situation unfolded, there
will be ways in which you can modify those influences, next time.
Accept that change is an integral part of life, both in business and in the home. Do your best to believe in the fact that how you manage change will determine the type of person that you are.
Even though you may have experienced disappointment, don’t forget to say ‘Thank you!’ to those who were there for you and supported you onyour journey. Be grateful for what you have and for those whom you have around you: your family, friends and colleagues.
Life is a journey for all of us. Tears of joy and sometimes of disappointment will happen. The sooner, you come to terms with the pain, the sooner you can move on. These disappointments will have been yesterday but today, and everyday, is a new beginning!
Disappointments happen to all of us
Learn and profit from your mistakes
Life is about looking forwards not back
[Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News]
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