Monthly Archives: July 2014

The In Between

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Hello World!

90px-Mali_-_local_transportWe have no control over when we come into the world and, in most cases, when we leave it. What we can control however, is what we do in between these times. Too often we are focused on what we think we should be doing, rather than what will truly make us happy. Of course doing whatever we want all the time is not always practical. There are certain things we need to do to survive – i.e. eat, and these cost money, so we must do some sort of work to get this money. And we do need to make sure we have plans in place so that we know we will be ok when we are no longer able to work.

What I am talking about is when we take these too far. People get caught up in things like building up an array of expensive toys and aiming to do fantastic things at retirement, but forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. We put off things like taking memorable holidays with our families and we don’t take risks that might otherwise make our lives better. We tend to think we have plenty of time to do these things later but time quickly runs out. The time you have with your children as they grow is precious and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Assuming you do put off everything until the end of your working life, what happens if you find you are not fit or healthy enough to do what you planned, or if you don’t get to live that long? When it comes to the accumulation of material things, what if you became sick or incapacitated and unable to sustain the income required to keep your empire of things going? When you can’t afford to maintain them, those toys can soon disappear. What are you left with then? Probably a lot of regret. Sure nice things are really great and I am guilty of more than one extravagant handbag purchase just because I liked them. It is very easy to get caught up in the always trying to have bigger and better trap, I know I have been guilty of this at times.

It’s a similar thing when people say I wish I could do this or I wish I didn’t have to do that, but then don’t do anything about it. The thing is, especially for those of us living in a country like Australia, there really isn’t much we couldn’t change if we really wanted to. It might mean sacrificing other things but except for the ones really outside of your control, you don’t have to stay in a situation you are not happy in. Imagine what someone paralysed from the neck down would say to you if you stood in front of them with your perfectly able body and say gee I wish I could learn to sail but I am far too busy making money to pay for my luxury car. Looking at it from this perspective the expensive car seems somewhat worthless.

So how do you want your life to look between the time you come into the world and the time you leave? Do you want to have a great empire full of stuff or do you want to have great memories full of awesome things you did with those you love? These people you love, by the way, should include yourself! The goal should be to aim for a balance between having enough materially and spiritually. It is a bit unrealistic to aim for the perfect balance all of the time. I guess it is much like the work life balance, sometimes you tip too much one way but as long as you find your way back to the other side regularly, that is a pretty good combination.

Here’s to a life of awesome memories and experiences!

Til next time…

Jo

I Can, Can’t I?

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Hello World!I_Can_Fly_(3287929681)

Well it’s been a while. No excuse really, just what has seemed like a million other distractions getting in the way.

Some of these distractions have confirmed something I have long thought to be true. When you really believe you can do something, more often than not you actually can. The same can be said when you believe you won’t be able to do something. You can be pretty sure you won’t.

Yes there are things that really are out of reach for some of us. For example, given the fact that even my dog tries to hide his ears when I am singing along to my iPod, it is probably not wise to set myself a goal of winning a Grammy Award. I am talking about when there is no logical reason as to why we can’t succeed at something. You put off really trying things that you have every chance of succeeding in, just because you are scared it might not pan out or leave you looking foolish. We get used to identifying ourselves in a certain way and it is scary to think of ourselves differently. We often hide behind what we believe others will think of us, when we are really running away from who we will be if we make changes. It is a fear of putting yourself out there for others to see and, rightly or wrongly, judge us. Feeling uncertain of the outcome makes it sometimes seem easier just not to try. But we have to ask, how much are we missing out on because of these fears and beliefs?

The world’s most successful people often share with us stories of their success. And it usually involves them having a strong belief they can do what it is they have succeeded at. This may not have always been the case and they may have had to work at getting to that point, but in the end they believe they can and so they give it everything they have. This goes across the arts, business, sport and science. Believing that something is possible means you are less likely to give up, even when things get difficult. I love when we hear about someone’s apparent overnight success, only to find out they have been plugging away at whatever it is they had succeeded at for many years. They have taken all sorts of risks and made sacrifices along the way to get where they are.

So how do you change from wishing to doing? Small steps I think. Just do something towards a change. Something a little scary, but not so scary that you won’t actually do it. Once you have taken that first step, more often than not, you will find that it is not so bad and you then think ok, I can do what comes next. I like to keep reminding myself what will I think about this when I am eighty – will I regret not giving it a go more than I am going to regret what the outcome might be?

As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. I often think back to my first blog post. It was terrifying and took me ages to actually post it. Any vulnerability I may have been feeling was amplified by the thought that what I had written would be out there for the whole world to see. Then I thought about what was the worst that could happen and decided I was just going to put it out there. After all, it was part of my “F@#* it List”! And I am so glad I did. I have gained a new confidence that I would not have had otherwise. I know it is leading me towards things that, had I not taken this step, would not be possible.

How often have you said you wished you could do something then done nothing about it? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself what have you got to lose?

Til next time…

Jo