Category Archives: personal development

How To Find Out What’s Driving Your Chosen Endeavour, Plus Easy Ways To Make Purpose and Meaning Your Answer


Have you ever stopped to ponder why you do what you do? Why you are working toward a particular project? Why you follow a particular hobby or passion? Why you do a particular job or parent your kids the way you do?

If it is because you feel excited and purposeful in doing them and that these experiences are creating real meaning and opportunities for you, then my head is nodding and my hands are clapping, ‘cos I love your answers!!!

If, per chance, your response is any of the following, then perhaps there is a  discussion to be explored here.

1) I do what I do, because of the money.

2) I do what I do, because that's what or how my parents did it.

3) I do what I do, because it's what I've done for a long time.
It makes me feel comfortable. Safe. Bored.

4) I do what I do, because that's what most people my age or
 in my peer/social group are doing.

5) I do what I do, because I'm afraid if I made a change,
it might be hard. Or not work out. Or. Something.

My intention in putting these ideas to you is simply to ask you to think. Or maybe to stop thinking in the way you may have been and ask yourself some different questions. Questions like:-

1) What really makes me happy, excited, inspired, gives me energy and purpose? Could I do that instead? Or at least try it?

2) Is what was right for my parents, right for me?

3) Is doing what I’ve always done really working for me? Is it providing a truly fulfilling and purposeful life for me?

4) Are there other people, in my age and peer group, who are doing something great with their lives? Something I admire them for and would like to emulate?

5) Is refusing or choosing not to change or not to stretch myself to learn and experience something outside of my comfort zone really working for me? Perhaps there is some value to had in trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone.  

Life is short. It is also full of possibilities. Established careers, jobs and ‘traditional’ roles don’t have to dictate who you are or what you do. If you’re not satisfied with the way yours is, why not create a new one for yourself using the above questions as a starting point? Maybe you already have?

Maybe you have already explored those questions and moved on, beyond the ‘expected’ role or label society has stamped you with. Or maybe you’d like to.

I love exploring these type of topics and certainly do not profess to have all the answers. Maybe I’ve got it wrong. Maybe there is more I need to know or discover.

What do you think?

Are you purpose driven in your endeavours?

Does what you do or are striving to do really excite and inspire you?

Is wanting to help improve the lives of others or just reaching out and connecting something you think is a purposeful goal?

What other ways can we inject purpose and meaning into everything we do?

Blog Posts and Teachers That Changed My Life (So Far) or How To Recognise A Dare To Be Great Enabler


 

The only difference between where you are today, and where you’ll be a year from today, are the books you read and the people you meet. – Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones

For the relevance of this post, please substitute the word ”books” for “posts, comments and emails” in the above quote!

 

Dare To Be Great

During my final year of primary school, I was lucky enough to be taught by the only catholic nun in Australia, who didn’t hit kids in the 70’s. But that’s not all she did right.

Sister Mary Therese was also a great encourager. She had a passion for writing and instead of the textbook poetry and essays that the educational curriculum dictated she use, Sr Therese instead, shared her own writing. Powerful  and original stories and poetry about nature, colour, God, love and whatever other subjects that 12-year-old catholic children needed to expand their horizons in, Sr Therese wrote about it.

Her creations were glued into our workbooks alongside our own poetry and essays – note: they were pasted alongside our creations.

This is where this wonderful person’s teaching became great. 

As you may have surmised, my grade 7 class admired and looked up to Sr Therese (me, in particular for her writing) and when her praise or encouragement was given via a comment on our work (pasted alongside her own) the impact was so uplifting that not only did our grades improve, we were also happier more positive students. Personally, Sr Therese was the catalyst for my first writing submission to (and subsequent publishing in) one of our cities major newspapers.

I was a published author (so to speak!) at 12 – all because of the love and encouragement given by a person whom I admired and looked up to. 

Sr Therese therefore, is always first on my (self-created) list of Dare To Be Great enablers.

Blog Posts and Bloggers

Many years later (after 2 kids, a career in nursing and a stint of tertiary education) I am still meeting Dare To Be Great enablers. These people have not only garnered my loyalty but also encouraged me to keep writing, through their praise and positive feedback and sometimes, just through their own willingness to share their valuable time, energy and wisdom.

Doing some of these things was possibly, to them, like leaving a drop in the ocean, but the impact they had on me, was much greater.

There are many I could mention that I have discovered just recently, but if I was to go start with one significant person, it would be Craig Harper (at www.craigharper.com.au) .

 I was lucky enough to discover Craig’s blog way back in its early stages (before his 45,000 subscribers came along!) and it was then that Craig offered (in response to a comment I wrote) to read some of the articles that I was then preparing for magazine submissions.

His email reply a day or two later left me ecstatic, because yep, he praised and encouraged me. He wrote the words – “Your writing is good. Really good. You’ve got to get published”. I couldn’t believe it. Someone whom I truly admired and looked up to had (again) encouraged me!

Craig was the catalyst for the work I then did in writing and publishing my first e-book (something I’m not sure I would not have ventured into had it not been for his encouragement).

Craig is next on my personal list of Dare To Be Great enablers.

So why am I giving these two teachers of mine such a poetic title when perhaps just ‘nice people’ would do? Because some people rise to  a different level in their willingness to help and support others. Some people do more than just be nice. Some people understand (and practice) the simple power of words, spoken or written, with a positive attitude and given freely for the benefit of others.

These people, in my mind, are Dare To Be Great enablers.

One More Surprising Teacher

I was reflecting yesterday upon these people and the way they have so positively impacted on my life, when something else happened to one of my kids, that I know will have a long and lasting (and very positive) impact on her.

In a way, I view this little episode in her young life, as the universe’s way of poking its tongue at me, her mother, and going “Na, na, na, na – nah!”, but I digress… here’s the short version of her greatest (so far) moment.

My daughter has a You Tube channel which is solely dedicated to her admiration for one popular young artist called…(I have been so sick of hearing this name) Justin Bieber. Like many young girls she talks, sings, dreams and (so I found out) writes and shares comments with her growing number of friends on the channel about her idol. She also frequently visits his channel.

Now to a mother all this can at times, be a little tiring, somewhat concerning and at other times, down right annoying!! Should I have her de-progammed or something? Should I make her close her You Tube account (oh and by the way, this interest has not and is not affecting her focus on school and/or other accomplishments/she is a great student). Yes, all these questions plague me at times, but lately I have weighed it all up and decided to accept and not fight this passing (I hope) stage.

And then yesterday my daughter had one of her uplifting and memorable moments when the young artist himself dropped by her You Tube channel and personally wrote several, very nice lines, full of positive, kind words offering her encouragement and inspiration.

Of course, she cried!

Now whether the person who posted that comment was in fact her idol or whether it was a publicist or another Bieber employee, isn’t relevant.

What is relevant is the wonderful impact it had on her. She felt (and I understand that feeling) so positive after reading it, that I dare say she’ll be dancing and smiling for the rest of the year! Her very first Dare To Great enabler (from a very unexpected source) has paid her a visit and changed her outlook for the better.

So my question to you today is this – Have you yourself ever given praise or encouragement that has changed someone’s life (or day) for the better?

Do you think it is possible that we can all be Dare To Be Great enablers, if we choose to?

Who has impacted upon your life or business in a memorable and encouraging way?

I would also like to encourage you yourself (and I’m going to do this too) to offer some praise today – to your kids, your spouse, a work colleague or friend.

See what impact you have.

Even if we ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
(adapted from Mother Theresa)

Could Having A Multi Niche Blog Expand Your Cyber Growth and Development?


Building a blog, I have come to believe, is similar in some ways to building your own home. First you find a vacant piece of land (a few Kilobytes),  a builder (wordpress.com for me) and then, perhaps a draftsman to draw up your plans (a website designer).

Ultimately though the true architect of your blog is you.

You, The Creator

Just as designing and planning your home gives you the opportunity to leave your own personal imprint on the world, so too does your blog. It is your creation, your energy, your time, your viewpoint and your slant on whatever subject your passionate about.

It is YOU in a cyber package.

Which brings me to this point – YOU are also a multidimensional being.

You have a heart as well as a mind and experiences as well as thoughts. Likewise you have infinite possibilities for what and how much you share in the blogosphere.

So why limit yourself ?

Single Vs Multi Niche

Of course maybe you have a very good reason for limiting what you write  about – maybe what you are really doing is zooming in your focus and narrowing down your subject area – all with good intent and outcome. If so, good on you!!

But can and should we all be doing the same?

I don’t profess to actually have the answer to that question, by the way. Rather, I would like to open up the subject for discussion with you and see if there is some consensus or preference amongst other bloggers.

Some questions I have in relation to this area:-

Do you think it is necessary to blog in a niche?

Is a multi niche blog something you already have or would considered creating?

Do you agree or disagree that we (unintentionally) limit our options by narrowing our focus in one particular area?

Inspiration

Recently I read a post by the gifted Marcus Sheridan, who was guest posting over at The Blogging Bookshelf.  Marcus was (for want of a better term) playing the devil’s advocate, by suggesting that many blogs, now alive and well in the blogosphere, will soon disappear and die, sadly even before their first birthday.

It was a very thought-provoking post and if you and your blog have not yet blown the number 1 candle out on your blogging birthday cake, then I would highly recommend reading it.

It was in fact a post that gave me the impetus to write this one, as I paused to reflect on his observations and the meaning they had for me.

What kept coming up for me (in my thoughts) were the ideas that are now in this post.

Embracing The New

In my first few months of blogging I focussed on providing thought-provoking and motivational tales about weight loss. After writing a whole book on the subject however, I eventually found that I had nothing further to say on the matter; 28,ooo words in an e-book had just about covered what I wanted to share.

I did (and still do) however have a strong interest in personal development which in many ways is tied to the journey of weight loss and better health.

So, I began to expand my content.

Now, 7 or 8 months later and there are many more areas that I now regularly read, research and learn about. Self publishing, writing as a craft, blogging and personal branding are some of the areas I am now studying.

Apart from the personal benefits I gain from this, I also now have heaps more to blog about! A double bonus!

So what are your thoughts?

Is multi niching for you?

What has been your experience and history in the blogosphere?

Has your focus shifted over time?

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Still Be Happy (A Post Christmas How To Guide)


 With the knowledge (er…suspicion)  that the Christmas holiday weekend perhaps went a little smoother for some, than for others, I thought today, the following reflection may be apt. 

It is a little personal (though not too much ) and I hope, if you need it to be, may also be a little therapeutic…..

Some Preamble

I actually tried ignoring (as much as possible) the pre-Christmas hype (shopping/consumer madness, etc…) but try as I may, it still affected me.  So that being considered, there was a few things I needed to get straight; a few ‘truths’ I needed to remind myself and lessons I needed to (re) learn.

I could sum them up in a few phrases – slow down, don’t sweat the small stuff and live every moment, as if it could be your last.

Oh and here’s one more:- acceptance and love don’t always come gift wrapped.

So here’s how I came to these conclusions……

Want Versus Need

Remember this line from the Rolling Stones hit song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need……” It’s true and he’s a few personal examples of just that…

The ‘need’ follows the ‘want’ and is written in bold.

1.” For the holidays, I thought I might try something different,” I told my hairdresser.  ‘ I think I’d like my hair to be lighter’ I continued. 

After some consternation over this request, she shared her plan to make me ‘a shade lighter’. It didn’t work. One and half hours later, I left a deep brunette.

Not what I wanted.

Upon returning home, my kids and family complimented me, gave me some love and actually told me they liked my hair and that I looked nice. They offered their kind words, were just glad to see me and I felt good.

2. ‘Don’t interrupt me on the phone, okay? I really need to talk to this person. It’s important,’ I told the kids. Within seconds, I had to excuse myself to answer my kids questions and attend to their activities. Four times, in fact, I excused myself from the phone.

The person I was speaking to, finally said ‘I think I’d better let you go’ and hung up.

Not what I wanted.

After the call, I looked at the kids. They ran to me and hugged me, as if I had been gone for days (instead of a few minutes) and I decided to give them my full attention, suddenly feeling a rush of appreciation for them, for their enthusiasm and their ability to feel excited over the little things in life.

3. Over Christmas, I did receive a few things I simply didn’t want.

These things however were given to me by people whom I really love and it was a gift simply to know that they felt the same. Finding out that they also treasure our friendship as much as I do was something I needed know. It made me happy regardless of the unwanted item.

Therapy for Life

Perhaps, if you’re tempted to moan or groan about anything unwanted in your life, a little tweaking of your mental processes might help and perhaps you can also find, that you actually did get what you need.

A Final Thought

In my humble opinion, our needs are often already being met, but that fact becomes a little clouded by our own preference for getting what we want.

Futhermore, experiencing the joy that fulfillment of our needs brings does require a little less superficiality.

This is just what I think though and maybe…. I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe there’s something else I need to learn…..

What do you think?

I’d love to hear if you yourself have a personal philosophy to live by when things don’t go your way? Does it help to make you appreciate the small things?

Or why not just share your Christmas experiences this year? I myself have enjoyed a very happy and upbeat celebration; one of the best I’ve had in years. I loved it!!

Please feel free to share anything that didn’t go your way though. I’m here and I’m listening…..:) 🙂

Or maybe you have some other nuggets of wisdom to share? Just press comment and fire away….

PS Don’t forget to pop back again in a few days. I am working on a sequel to todays post. It’ll be a similar ”Art of Happiness” study, which you may find interesting………   🙂

 

Your Future Hasn’t Been Written Yet or Why Your Next Resolution Maybe Your Best Yet


 

Many of you may remember this scene  from the very popular movie, Back To The Future. In case you’re too young to remember, it was a fictional tale with a great message about possibilities, outcomes, decisions and personal action.

It was also a great reminder that destiny is something that in contrast to being predetermined is actually, medetermined. Every choice you make or don’t make (and even not making a choice is a choice), every opportunity you do or do not take up is you, determining your future.

The New Year

One of the most popular dates on the calendar for setting goals is coming…. thoughts, ideas and promises will flood our minds with the intent of being fulfilled. “This time next year”…..will be a popular phrase fervently broadcast after a few drinks. Goals such as losing weight, giving up smoking, getting more exercise, writing more will be everywhere. Then, a month or two later……??? Ah, well, it wasn’t meant to be. It’s not my destiny. I was never meant to do that, anyway. Etc, etc…

The excuse of not being in charge of your future is one that many of us are comfortable to fall back on.

When we take the idea that ‘Our future hasn’t been written yet’ though, things begin to change. We can start to see that really…..anything is possible. We can lose that weight, we can achieve that new goal.  Destiny is not an absolute. It is something we can shape, change and create. If we want to.

Great Scott

Couch potatoes have become marathon runners. Because they wanted to.

Bloggers have become published authors. Because they wanted to.

Penniless people have created wealth. Because they wanted to.

Uneducated people have gone back to school. Because they wanted to.

The essential ingredient of course is motivation. Motivation, desire, hard work and a some would argue, luck.

While all these do play a part, I think the most common element in all these success stories is that, the people creating them, believed in being masters of their own destiny.

When midnight strikes this New Year, why not remind yourself of this truth. It may make all the difference, this time next year……

Over To You…

So, I’d love to hear – do you believe in life being me – determined or predetermined? Is circumstance and your life situation something you can control or shape or is it all ‘going to happen anyway’, regardless of your own decisions or choices?

Do you only set new goals at New Year or do you set them weekly,monthly or even daily? Have you an inspirational story to share about overcoming the odds and achieving what you set out to?

Please do share your thoughts. I really appreciate the value your comments add to the discussion. 🙂

I’d also love to hear what you’re doing to ring in the New Year. I’d share my own plans, but they mostly involve sleep…..such the party animal quiet neighbour that I am!

 

*************************************

 

 

Blogging, The Family Way…or How To Write With Distractions


 

 

Don’t get it right, just get it written
 James Thurber quotes (American Writer, 18941961)

Writing Inspiration

I wrote a few days ago about how positive and supportive people can make a difference to your creativity, your energy and your overall view toward whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

I gotta say I am still relying on that support and still finding it – from friends and family that ask ‘How’s your blog going?’ to people in the blogosphere who reach out and make sincere efforts to assist you. It all helps.

One thing I have come to realise also is that not every post that I (or any blogger ) writes has to be inspirational, motivational or the ‘best post’ I’ve ever written. Why? Because not every blog post can be written whilst you are meditating under an aframe or even while you are completely alone, without a single distraction.

I think sometimes we just need to ‘cut ourselves some slack’ and have faith ourselves and in what we are doing.

If you’re looking for the best post I’ve ever written for example then perhaps it would be this one or this one. Both received positive feedback in the form of comments and improved stats.

Positive Blogging

Although this sort of feedback really pleases me of course and motivates me to write similar posts, being the ‘human’ that I am with multiple distractions and commitments outside of the blogosphere, I have decided that I am not going to put myself under any pressure to duplicate those outcomes. If I did that, I’d probably never write anything.

So instead I will write as honestly and openly as I can, as frequently as I can and about whatever topics that inspire me or motivate me.  That is for me what blogging is really all about. Writing and communication, honesty and sharing – all great tools for learning and self growth.

So today I am musing about the experience of ‘Blog Writing, Set to the Background of Parenthood”. It’s a laugh, I gotta say….

Blog Appreciation, Kids Style…

Whilst one of my kids is quite ‘web savvy’ for her age and actually understands what a ‘blog’ is (she actually has one herself), in contrast, my youngest child is completely ‘blogging nonplussed’, to say the least.  During the writing of my last blog post for example he spent about 1/2 hour chanting the words….”Are you finished yet, are you finished yet…..” in the background. Aaaaahh…..

Needless to say it may not have been the best post I’ve ever written. I’ll let you be the judge, if you want to read it here.

My kids, of course, always come first. Always have, always will, in every way. Rather than use them as an excuse not to write though today, I thought  I would make them a reason to write.

They really do inspire me to write as much as they distract me.

Oooops….Life is Calling

As life, at this present moment of writing, is imitating the content of this post and I have one child loudly sharing that  ‘I have nothing to do….’. I will close this post now with a happy sigh (I got to 600 words this time!) and go and hug my kids.

They are really all that matters !

I would love to hear about your adventures with blogging, a story about your family or whatever you’re happy to share.

I always have time to reply to all comments or answer a question.
And although this blog does not have one of those amazing plug-in things, called Commentluv (where you’re own latest blog post is linked to your comment) feel free to highlight or mention your own latest blog post, so others can see it.

Who needs a fancy plug-in for something we can add ourselves anyhow??? (okay, commentluv is awesome and it probably will come to this blog eventually, but in the meantime…..)

Love to hear from you. 🙂

Finding Focus and Determination With A New Goal in A Coming New Year


 

The Business Of Finding Focus

Have you ever been conflicted?  Not sure of where to lay your focus? Feeling committed, but not sure what to?

Well as I type this I am feeling that way, too. In recent months (since starting this blog) I have been on a journey of discovery and learning. I have joined and engaged in many social media sites, met some great people online and learnt so much from their perspectives and their work.

I have researched and written more this year than ever (most of which has landed here as posts). And I have met you, my readers and from the comments that have been left and the emails sent, I have learnt much about you. And loved it.

A Decision

So what’s all this end of year, reflection about? Well, as I said I am conflicted. All the same, after some thought and consideration, I have come to a decision (at least a temporary one!) that for the next few months (or possibly just weeks) I need to shift my focus.  I have a lifetime goal and I need to get working on it.

That goal is one of getting my e-book into print and this will require a lot more of my time, energy and focus and as a result I think I will have to give something up.

I love writing this blog. Love, love, love it!! Even on days when I don’t receive heaps of comments I always still derive so much pleasure and satisfaction just from completing the task of researching and writing about a topic that I love and am passionate about.

A Fork In The Road

However, my print book is calling me!!  The images for its design and layout keep popping up in mind! I dream about it. I think about it and I can almost see it on the table in front of me. I have always believed that this is where real goal setting begins – in your mind. From there,  the rest will follow, but as the e-book itself says – IF IT IS TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME!

This was my goal setting mantra during my weight loss journey and so now, it is still the same as I aim for my next goal of getting my book into print.

So I guess you know where all this is leading. Yes, I am going on a temporary break from writing this blog.

I may be back sooner rather than later. Who knows? I guess it all depends on how quickly I move through the mini goals I have currently in front of me (I start with mini goals or tasks and find that this way, I will eventually reach THE BIG GOAL – oh, just remembered – that’s another weight loss tip from my e-book!).

Part Time Participation

I will be popping in and out of the blogosphere all the same, to visit other people’s blogs and see what they’re writing about. I will also still try to participate in ICOMLEAV week, which starts next week, as I have already signed up for that and I am a big believer in committment, so I will stick to that one!

Although, I am excited to be working on my print book, I am also happy that I have already achieved another goal of having it available here on the net. By the way, please forgive me, but I may as well give it a plug 🙂 – if you (or anyone you know and love) needs a little extra weight loss inspiration this coming Christmas and New year, don’t forget about my e-book!! 

It’s only $3.99 !!!  Now that is a good price!  The print book will cost much more and most copies I believe will be sold off-line, so the e-book alternative is great for social networking users like you and me!

The Last Bit

Anyhow, that’s my update, friends. I will definitely still be around the blogosphere trenches, as am sure I will miss it too much to keep away altogether!!  But perhaps my presence will not be so apparent here on this blog, in the form of my writing. I won’t be too far away though 🙂

Before I close this post, I would also like to take a minute to say thank you. Thank you to all of you for being here, for reading and for your participation and contribution on my blogging journey. God bless, you all.

I also would like to personally wish you all the very best with your own New Year commitments and goals. You can do it!! 🙂 🙂

If you would like to chat to someone else who is also working toward a New Goal for the New Year, please do!! I would be very pleased to hear from you 🙂

Do you have any lifetime goals you would like to start work on? Not sure when it would be a good time to get started on them?

Love to hear about it or from anyone who would like to share any specific ideas or strategies that have helped them reach their  goals. All ideas shared are very much appreciated. I adore hearing from you, guys! 🙂 

Happy Holidays Everyone and All The Best For Your Own Goal Setting and New Year’s commitments!!

God Bless and Lots of Hugs,

Mon

xxoo