Category Archives: General

A Toolkit For Happiness: 4 Steps To A More Fulfilling Life

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“Happiness can be found, in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light”

JK Rowling  ☂ ☼ ☆

If you’ve been:

△ Feeling a bit blue or out of sorts;
△ Wondering how to re-inject the joy into your joie de vivre; or
△ Asking yourself if life’s all it’s cracked up to be

this article by Elissa @Favor the Bold Communications is for you ♡

A 5-minute toolkit with a sad start, I guarantee these tips from the top will give you some easy to implement magic resources to put the spring back in your step ♫

Why CEOs Say Coaching Is Far More Than Hot Air

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“I never cease to  be amazed by the power of the coaching process”.

John Russell, Managing Director, Harley Davidson Europe

If, like me, your first impression of coaching was some wacky American self-help thang full of hot air, you wouldn’t be the first.

And I’ll bet my bottom dollar you won’t be the last to eat your words when you realise that:

“People, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities” Bob Nardelli, CEO, Home Depot

And by people, I’m talking clients from all walks of life – Cambridge graduates, company directors, school leavers and cynics. Like my highly successful friend who was dismayed he couldn’t become a Partner at his FTSE 500 company without a coaching session. After an hour with the coach, he soon changed his mind.

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If, like him a year back, you’re wondering what coaching is all about or how it could serve you with results based goods, check out some kind words below which walk you through the process ☄

“Melanie was incredibly helpful; she was insightful, she was understanding, and helped me to think of ways round issues and problems I had, or perceived I had!

She invited me to examine how the various areas of my life informed each other, and this was very revealing. I consider myself an insightful person, but she helped me to look at things truly; often it takes someone else to really reflect things to us.

She came from a very practical, yet empathetic stance, and was constantly encouraging. I felt that I could really take those small steps towards achieving what I wanted to achieve, and that it wasn’t as daunting as I had thought.

I think I had a tendency to over complicate things, and also to expect too much of myself. She helped me to break it down into small achievable goals, many of which I have now achieved.

Her knowledge, natural intelligence, warmth and wisdom gave me confidence that she believed in me, and therefore I should believe in myself a bit more!” –

Clare, Freelance Performer & Consultant, London

To check out how sessions work, pop on over here.

The 10 Minute Magic Trick Back To Happiness

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What’s the sign that you’re truly ‪#‎happy‬?

What’s that feeling you get that tells you that all is exactly as it should be?

How do you know that something or someone is right for you?

For me, it was a bit of a surprise to discover it was a feeling of PEACE.

Times I’ve Felt Peaceful Include:

♧ When I left London for Madrid and then the mountains;
♧ When I left law for life coaching;
♧ When I write.

What Causes Calm?

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Living life in accordance with your values - those things which make you tick – your internal drivers – your silent anchors which, when honoured and engaged, make you feel alive and at peace.

What Causes Niggling Unease?

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If you’re feeling out of sorts at the moment – like you’re not quite where you’re meant to be – not doing a job you enjoy – not spending time with the right people – or not living in the right place – that’s likely because you’re not living your life in accordance with your values.

Maybe that’s because you feel too busy to take time out, too overwhelmed to think straight or maybe you’ve simply never sat down and worked out what really makes you tick.

The great news is, that feeling of unease is easy to resolve if you take a step back and spend ten minutes working out your values.

How To Recapture Your Va-Va-Voom 

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Tap into the real you by formulating a list of your 8-10 core drivers – the things which give you purpose – by asking yourself:

♧ What am I doing when I’m happiest? 
♧ What couldn’t I do without in my life?
♧ What would my ideal day involve?
♧ If I had all the money in the world, what would I be doing?
♧ If time was no object, where would you find me?

Your list may include words like: 

‪#‎freedom‬ ‪#‎friends‬ ‪#‎love‬ ‪#‎writing‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎money‬ and more.

It’s totally personal.

Now put those words in order of priority.  

Once you’ve done that you should be able to spot the cause of your unease.

Which one of those values isn’t being met at the moment? If it’s a value near the top of your list, chances are you’re feeling all kinds of funny.

Don’t Believe Me?

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You can test your values by looking back at times in your life when you felt unlike yourself – whether an ill-fitting relationship or an unfulfilling job. Review your values list against each scenario and I’ll bet you can identify which need wasn’t being met and why you felt so strange. Bear in mind, though, that your values evolve over time so what may have mattered to you ten years ago may hold less significance now.

The Magic Bullet

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Having identified your needs, ask yourself what can you do to realign your ‪#‎life‬ with your ‪#‎values‬.

Savour how much more confident you feel making a ‪#‎change‬ now you understand why you feel the way you do.

Marie Forleo: How You Can Make Fear Your Secret Weapon For Success

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\\ POWERFUL TRANSFORMATIVE TEACHING ON FEAR from the awe inspiring ‪#‎entrepreneur‬,‪ #‎author‬ and ‪#‎philanthropist‬ Marie Forleo

We’re all riddled with fear to different degrees – at different points on our ‪#‎journeys‬.

Whether:

۩ fear of being alone;
۩
fear of failure; 
۩
fear of disappointment

or otherwise – I know I’ve felt all three at times, as have most of my phenomenal female friends.

But as the lioness, Marie, so eloquently reminds us, we must reframe our fear and activate it as the positive force that it really is.

How Can Fear Be Positive?

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If you think about it, fear is just a manifestation of uncertainty – the risk of not achieving something that is hugely important to us. And where does that leave our identity?! Nowhere certain. Nowhere concrete. Nowhere fun.

But here’s the thing – fear is also a pretty draining emotion – if not embraced for what it really symbolises – which leaves us stuck worrying about the past or the future rather than harnessing the fun, fruity and pretty darn hopeful – present.

How Can We Convert Fear Into A Force For Good?

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So embrace your fear today by asking yourself what the positive intention behind your fear really is. Maybe it’s soaring ambition, a gorgeous readiness to love or the inner perfectionist that lights your path?

Now refocus your mind on that – magnify it – tenfold – and watch your fear melt into rock – hard – pumping – power ☼

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The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying: Bronnie Ware

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“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not a life others expected of me” 

Taken from “The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying”

By Bronnie Ware

Death is one of life’s great taboos.

Ironic then, isn’t it, that Bronnie Ware’s book, inspired by the most common regrets of her dying patients, has sold the wide world over – in no less than 27 languages. 

Equally ironic is the conversation stopping effect death has in life when Ware’s findings reveal that death is, in fact, the greatest invigorator out there. Bypassing ego, image and obligation, death sieves through bullshit and cuts straight to point - distilling truth in its purest form.

Five core truths, in fact – which level us all.

And that, Dear Reader, is what many of us are too busy to realise day to day – what really matters in life – and that’s what makes Ware’s book so powerful.

If that all sounds a bit on the heavy side, check out the top five regrets of the dying here and prepare to feel a whole lot lighter.

For as Steve Jobs, the man who ‘had it all’, warned:

“At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless”.

So if you think you’re too busy to read the above article, all the more reason to. 

For as the Dalai Lama so wisely reflected when asked what surprised him most about man:

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Terry Wogan: The Grocer’s Son Who Made History Of A Different Kind

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“A broadcasting legend”Tony Hall

“Britain has lost a huge talent – someone millions came to feel was their own special friend”David Cameron

“Just the most warm-hearted, generous, funny, clever, life-affirming man”Dermot O’Leary

“He was probably the greatest broadcaster since the invention of the microphone”Jeremy Vine

“Part of the fabric of our lives”Simon Mayo

“Nobody’s going to top that act”Ruby Wax

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Few deaths move nations like Sir Terry Wogan’s has Britain and Ireland.

Few moments are more poignant than Wogan’s farewell to his Radio 2 listeners.

And his parting words to his Radio 2 listeners, like Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’, seem all the more poignant now:

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It’s always been a source of enormous pride to me that you have come together in my name, that you are proud to call yourself my listeners, that you think of me as a friend, someone that you are close enough to laugh with, to poke fun at and occasionally, when the world seemed just a little too cruel, to shed a tear with.

Thank you, thank you for being my friend“.

And while the farcical cluster of legendary deaths this year are powerfully evoked by John Schneider: “It’s truly like God’s put an intern in charge of deaths and he’s going through the list of celebrities people really love“, these losses make Wogan’s no less.

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Described as a “national treasure“, “a true gentleman” and “one of the greatest broadcasters who ever lived“, I ask you, dear Reader, what was it that made Sir Terry Wogan so very dear to us?

Was it just his Irish charm and velvety voice, was it the fact he helped us through the painful wee hours with his warm and witty weekday breakfast programme, “Wake Up To Wogan” or was it his cuddly resemblance to a much-loved father figure?

Or was it more than that?

I suggest, dear Reader, it was the latter.

For as the snapshot of tributes above show, Wogan’s legacy is rooted in the fantastical – even metaphysical.

From grocer’s son to broadcasting legend – he went from virtual unknown to a friend to millions.

Yes – a friend to millions.

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A rare mix of gravitas allied with a strong sense of the ridiculous gave this unscripted, slick-witted broadcaster an eloquence, wit and warmth that made people feel both enraptured and at ease all at once.

Far more than a just another charming TV personality, Wogan was a deeply empathetic man who, though known as the face of Children In Need, was in fact “the heart of the charity for some 35 years, raising millions to change the lives of children“.

This was a man who, like all the greats of the world, leaves many lessons in his wake.

Here are just a handful:

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1. Do What You Love
Wogan’s departure from banking couldn’t have been further from the broadcasting world. Giving vent to his flamboyance, TV and radio came naturally to Wogan, allowing him to exploit his flair and charisma on a daily basis. Such was his ease on the radio, he admitted: “I certainly don’t wake up planning my show for the next day. I simply turn up and turn the microphone on without giving it any thought.” So if you’re at a career crossroads, forget the ‘shoulds’ and focus on what truly excites you. There will be less stress, more fun and quite simply – more success.

2. Prioritise Family
Despite Wogan’s success, his wife and children were his priority. “I’ve always taken risks with my career, but never with my family“, he said. “If you want to keep everything about you secure and warm, you don’t risk the things you value“. Wise words from a devilishly handsome Irish man who could have quite easily exploited his wit and charm to more egotistical ends.

3. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
Chris Evans attributes Wogan’s supreme confidence to the fact that: “He never took any of this seriously. Least of all himself. He was the butt of most of his jokes”. Wogan was the ultimate Jackanory. Chris Deerin said he had stories, “Many unrepeatable here, about pretty much anyone I could think up. He loved to talk about his friend, the great Peter Cook, who once asked to bring his pet along to a celebrity golf match and arrived carrying a goldfish in a bowl“. The moral of the tale? “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive“.

4. See Through The Bullshit
When asked by Joanna Lumley, his nervous co-presenter of Children In Need just before going on air in the early days, “Terry, do you ever get nervous”, he replied: “Nervous? No. This is only television“. Wogan was a man who had life in perspective. A perspective no doubt sharpened by the loss of a daughter at 3 weeks’ old. He saw through ego and laughed it off as the illusion that it is. When asked what advice he’d offer his teenage self if he had the chance, he replied: “I would say never get too disappointed if you don’t do as well as expected in your exams. There’s more to life than passing exams, and paper qualifications can only take you so far.” So next time you feel stressed or guilty for not meeting others’ expectations, remember, they may not count for much when all is said and done.

5. Stay Humble
Despite his fame, being knighted in 2005 – the year his radio audience passed the eight million mark – Wogan appreciated his radio listeners to the very end. A king of the airwaves who never lost the common touch, this was a man who had that rare ability to make each of his 9 million listeners feel like the only person in the room. Which, I suppose, is why when questioned how many people listened to his show, he replied: “Only one“.

But most of all, Wogan was a man who appealed to the masses. The rich, the famous, the middle class, the poor and the lowly.

He had that magical ability to make everyone feel special. The rarest of gifts and a prime example of Rudyard Kipling’s words:

How To Get Motivated: Reframe Your Pain And Gain Gain Gain

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“Satisfied needs do not motivate. It is only the unfulfilled needs that do so”

Stephen Covey, Bestselling Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

When was the last time a grizzly, sick-to-your-stomach inducing situation turned out to be surprisingly positive and expansive?

How did you feel a few months down the line after that terrible break-up, unfair job loss or frightening health scare? Bitter, angry and stuck or grateful, wiser and surprisingly positive?

This is because of of a GEM OF A SECRET I’ll share with you.

The driving force behind motivation – what impels us to action – is produced by a state of tension, which exists as the result of an unfulfilled need

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This is why being cut loose from situations which no longer serve us – is actually a blessing in disguise – launching us into positive change with an engine of tension-fuelled motivation beneath us.

So you see, the most difficult experiences in life are actually powerful catalysts for positive change

Whether:

1. Losing a job and starting that business you’d dreamed about;
2. Breaking up with someone and taking up a new hobby that opens up a whole new social circle; or
3. Making a fresh start somewhere new and learning new languages and customs which tickle your soul and inspire you creatively

This is why discomfort can be such a powerful driver for growth

and why imagining how you DON’T want your life to be a year down the line is such an effective driver for achieving your goals.

How Can You Apply This In Your Daily Life?

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1. Reframe Your Pain - Remember that discomfort and pain are the great catalysts for growth. If you do one thing today, wee Gazer, try reframing pain and discomfort into the positive motivator that it is and turn your attention to the new and exciting ideas and projects which that tension is releasing within you.

2. Get Inspired - The likes of bestselling authors like Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t get where they are through comfort. Au contraire – they side stepped, jagged, from the grief-stricken wounds of trauma to the high-flying realms of success that see their names in lights today.

Similarly, if you think Steve Jobs and Richard Branson just got lucky, take a look at the challenges they both harnessed to achieve sky-high success. Sackings, imprisonments, betrayals aren’t what you’d expect, are they? If they can do it, why can’t you?

3. Still Struggling? And if you’re not quite there yet, give yourself a breather and remember – those challenges are what make you the person that you are today – and they will be the making of your tomorrow.

13 Stress Relieving Habits That Could Change Your Life

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“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass”

Timber Hawkeye

Happy Tuesday, wee ones – almost hump day!! I read this article recently which I absolutely loved by Pop Sugar – “13 Stress-Inducing Habits and How to Avoid Them”. It’s full of practical ideas which bring balance to over-stretched lives (sound familiar?) – mentally, physically and most importantly – spiritually. Yes. It’s balm to the soul.

From drinking too much caffeine (you know that funny state of over alertness which conquers fatigue but can leave you feeling all kinds of sketchy…) to lack of exercise and constantly venting to friends (I’ve definitely been guilty of this in vulnerable moments – and it doesn’t always help) – these tips are as surprising as they are helpful.

So, if you feel like enhancing your life in 5 minutes, here are some things that stressed-out people tend to do and tips to break the habits – http://www.popsugar.com/sma…/Habits-Stressed-People-34935933. Enjoy :)

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#stress

#tips

#balance

#calm

Truth-Bomb Friday: Belt Up And Brace Yourself

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Here’s a powerful truth bomb for you before Friday dawns, wee Gazer – charged from the depths of my heart after reading one of the most powerful HONY posts going. So stop what you’re doing, please. Belt up – and listen good.

Don’t EVER let anyone tell you you’re not capable of achieving what you want or that your dreams are too big or your mind too small.

EVERY time I’ve been told this – EVERY time – they were wrong.

A prep school teacher told my mum my twin and I would never in a million years pass the 12+. We did – and both went on to do more than ok – me becoming a lawyer at a top firm and my sister becoming an entrepreneur running her own highly successful interior design business.

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Then there was the handsome but seriously limited Physics teacher - Mr Sparks was his name – (honestly) – who was so bad at identifying the potential in his students that we resorted to extra tuition (on Sundays!) – which saw us catapult from the bottom of the class to the top (redheads rule). His accusation on seeing our results – that we must have cheated – not just for our high marks but because we got identical marks (surprising ignorance from a science teacher given our identical natures!) – said so much more about his limitations than ours.

It didn’t stop there – as I’m sure many of you also experienced in your formative (and, by the way – most crucial) years.

An A-Level English teacher at a top school (whose senior job label was only matched by her poor teaching and judgment) told me, most encouragingly pre-A-Level exam, I’d probably just about scrape a B. She didn’t know me very well. I swept through with 93% and a First Class Degree in English Literature 5 years later. The Devil in me wanted to write to her but the Angel in me felt a little mean ;)

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Then there was the well-meaning vicar who told said twinnie and I we couldn’t possibly read at our brother’s funeral. Ok – that’s more understandable and he probably did mean well – but little did he stop to listen – listen to the tunes of our hearts and souls – little did he understand us. No way were we going to let our stupendous big bro – a bloke who’d inspired pride of steel in everyone who knew him – leave our lives without the send-off he so richly deserved. Just – no – chance!

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My point? They were the ones with the small minds – the small dreams – the limited visions – the glasses half dirty and half empty.

So if you’re blessed with passion, hope and grit – as I think you are, wondrous one – you go after your dreams with EVERYTHING you’ve got. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you can’t do something. No matter how unlikely or extraordinary. Because you know what? The most extraordinary people achieve the most unlikely of things. Look at all the greats – Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson. Do you think any of their career advisors thought their dreams were achievable?! I – think – not!

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I’ll leave you with this truly inspiring tale from the cracking beauty below interviewed by Humans of New York. Belt up now – cos this is a woman who took no sh*t – this is a woman who OWNED her dreams, who fought with everything she had – and didn’t have, supposedly.

THIS is what SUCCESS looks like. Hard-won – determined – gritty – glorious success.

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“I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books– accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago– just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care.”

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#success

#determination

#inspiration

#goafteryourdreams

 

“What Do You Do For A Living?”: Why The Truth Ain’t Always The Best Reply by Nicole Perhne

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Why I wholeheartedly salute the lovely Nicole Perhne’s thoughts on that common (and often identity defining and deceptively deceiving) cocktail party question: “What do you do for a living?” 

“I totally agree. Nicole! I often think if we look to what we wanted to do when we were 10 years old, before ‘shoulds’ featured in our lives, we can find some truth there… I wanted to be a magazine editor, but instead became a lawyer (which was cool bar having no life!) – and here I am – back to the 10 year old who loved to write – and I’m loving it – and harnessing the skills I acquired in law in a (far more fulfilling) coaching capacity – which is far more ‘me’. Keep your vids com’in! ox “

If you’re someone who is lucky enough to LOVE what you do for a living (hello ice cream makers and cookie cutters) – if you’re one of those enviable Gazers whose 9-5 sets you alight brighter than a sunset on Sunset Boulevard – hats off to you – you’re right in your power – right where you should be – and you will continue down your path of fulfilment growing and glowing – hopefully inspiring others along the way.

If, like most of us, you’re not yet right where you belong job-wise but somewhere deep down inside you’re wondering what else is out there – what alternatives will reignite your tired soul – bring the joy back into your daily life – and move you towards your higher purpose, check out Nicole’s video here and savour the difference between a ‘should-led, tick-tock kinda life’ and a ‘soul-driven, want-to-growing-living-kinda-life’.

Her conversation catalysing, soul-setting-on-fire response to that commonplace (and sometimes – conversation stopping) cocktail party question, is right on point.

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#happysundaygazer

#followyourheart

#wantsnotshoulds