Tag Archives: personal development

Are You Neglecting Your Most Important Blogging Asset or How To Take Care Of A Creative Mind


 

 

 

This post is something different. I hope it adds some value to your day.

I can’t say it belongs in any traditional ‘Top Tips For Bloggers’ category, that’s for sure.  However, I kind of like dabbling in the alternative, outside of the box slant to blogging and writing, so here it goes…let us know what you think.

Okay, so I could have called this post, Stay Happy and Create or something to that effect. Or perhaps smile, be positive and the writing will flow, but let’s be honest about this – sometimes you may not be feeling 100% energy plus/ soda pop bubbly happy  but you still want to write something (possibly a blog post!).

Your head is telling you – go lay on the couch, read a book, eat something, call a  friend or if those distractions don’t work, why not google something (for fun, not research) or just sit and stare at your computer screen.

Well, doesn’t that sound lazy fazy. Non-productive. Wishy washy. Mediocre. Non action taking.

Maybe, but I don’t need to be a psychologist to know that it is also okay to do it. Good even.

And why? Well, here’s what I think…..

Whilst being the really busy, action taking, self motivated, opportunity grabbing entrepreneurial bloggers that we are is great; sometimes, keeping that level of process and predictability going can be also be draining, destructive and negative. 

Counterproductive even.

Power Vs Force

Creativity is a funny thing. It needs silence. It needs time. It needs to be allowed to take form in our consciousness at whatever pace it decides. Slowly but steadily.

Truth is, creative thinking is not something to take for granted.

It is however something that can be nurtured through silence, rest and time out. 

These words below, from William Penn, aptly illustrate what I am referring to.

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.  ~William Penn 

 

And in a world where silence has all but been annihilated, making a conscious choice to find some space and quiet is something worth writing about.

So I did.

Was this blog post helpful?

What enhances your productivity?

What do you think – am I over analysing creativity here?

How do you nurture yourself and your creative side? 

 

PS Coming soon….(next time I blog) I share my experiences at the most amazing, wonderful, incredible, fantastic weekend seminar with Rachael Bermingham (Australia’s No 1 top-selling author!!). What a power packed weekend it was – I even got to have some private, one on one, time with Rachael as part of the VIP dinner!!! 

Has this weekend changed my life or what?! There were so many fabulously creative, talented and wonderful people there (hello to any of you, who might be reading this!!) and now, new opportunities are knocking on the door, for all of us who attended!!! Woo – hoo!!!

This was one incredibly productive and creative weekend!!!

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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?

The Value of Health and Sickness – Exploring Two Aspects of Being Human


 

 

Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written,

”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states:-

”In time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

**********

What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? 

Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race?

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………   🙂

 

Making Your Blogging Imprint or How To Get Your Blog To Sparkle in Cyberspace


 

Hi everyone! The first thing I have to say before anything else is thank you!Thanks to everyone who left comments, asked questions or just visited and read my Freshly Pressed post the other day. I think it is safe to say that my blog has been enjoying some wonderful Feng Shui over the last couple of days and it is all due to you bright and passionate people out there who provided feedback, shared thoughts and left kind comments. So thank you! 🙂 

Together Everyone Achieves More. Cheesey….but true!

I think I have replied  to everyone and I eventually hope to visit all your blogs, too. It might take me awhile…but I’ll do it!

The Blogging Network

Blogging really is about community after all. It is also about sharing what we know and love, so I am looking forward to reading everything that you guys are passionate, ambitious and committed to! 

Sharing our views with the world really does make us vulnerable at times, but the best thing about it is that we are  all ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’, which I think is keeping us all ahead of the herd in some ways and providing a pathway for our own self growth at the same time.

I hope that last remark didn’t offend any sheep out there 🙂 it didn’t mean to. I just think that by taking a few risks and putting ourselves ‘out there’ we are all deliberately creating new experiences for ourselves  and that has to be good, ‘cos in my view, that’s what’s life’s about – Living, Learning, Achieving and Growing.

Today’s Post

Okay so moving on to today’s post which, compared to my last one, is brief,  as I have been a bit busier than usual over the last few days 🙂 and thus limited to some extent for time to write.

I think I touched on the subject of  time management in my last post where I described my preference of keeping to a blogging schedule, but sometimes the unexpected happens (like being on Freshly Pressed!). This then requires a little ‘renegotiation’ with your available time and energy!

I am happy though with the choice I made to reply to all the comments left here first, before I began work on my next post.

Today’s Topic

So ….without further to-do, here is today’s post which was actually influenced by the number of questions and comments I received about how to get your blog moving or how to get traffic or even how to motivate yourself to write.

Whilst I plan to address some of those questions over a number of posts in the future, today’s entry explores two things which I believe are key components to writing good blog posts. I thought I would start with these to perhaps give you some ‘food for thought’ as you yourself start planning your next blog post.

If you are already a prolific writer and have some further thoughts on finding inspiration, please share it with the rest of us in the comments section! Ideas and creative energies are definitely elements of ourselves, as bloggers, that can be activated and nourished by others. And as I certainly don’t have a monopoly on doing that, please feel free to contribute and further influence fellow readers via the comment section. Thanks in advance 🙂

Write What You Would Like To Read

Okay, so I have adopted this simple mantra myself recently, as I have heard it put forward by some very famous authors and it certainly seems to have worked for them! And, going by my analogous post from two days ago, it is also working for me. I could never have anticipated the trajectory of that particular post in advance, so I just wrote something that I myself would enjoy reading. I also have started asking the following questions after I write, ”Would I be proud of that article or post ten years from now?” or “Have I provided a fresh or unique perspective on a topic that allows readers to discover new insights?”

Basically, my own posts are my effort to :-

a) Cultivate the creative and/or personal potential of others and

b) To encourage them to follow their instincts and to reconnect with a voice of encouragement and inspiration, thereby awakening their own dormant talents and abilities.

You probably already know that voice which I am referring to but you are sometimes ignoring or paying little attention to it.  You have lots of great ideas, but then you can talk yourself out of putting them into practice.  You start listening to the doubts instead of your positive and confident internal voice.

I used to do that too, but once I started to turn it around, I suddenly became a lot more productive 🙂  It can be a great adventure just following your own instincts and then finding out where it leads you…..

Trust Your Own Voice

Which brings me to the second point of this post, which is simply trusting your own voice.

For me that entails writing the same way that I talk. I also like to imagine that I am sitting in a small room in my house, sharing and chatting with some close friends. Maybe we are also enjoying some coffee and a few laughs.

The reality may actually be that I am sitting all alone at my writing desk, but I can still feel the collective presence of others and this really assists me in finding my own voice and trusting it.

NOTE: The above post is my own ideas about finding your blogging voice, but after I had finished writing I decided to do a little more research, so I could provide you with some further reading on the subject, should you be interested.

The following two links were the best I found. I hope you find them helpful.

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/08/05/5-ways-to-build-your-blogs-voice/

http://blogsessive.com/blogging-tips/unique-blogging-voice/

Ciao everyone. Happy blogging!!!

As always, I would love your feedback and comments on this post. I am sure you can all educate me just as much as I can you, so please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and ideas or to simply ask a question. 🙂

By the way if you noticed a large number of smiley faces being added to my replies yesterday, that’s because I was feeling so happy. 🙂 🙂

I still am, so you will probably notice a few more today! 🙂 🙂

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. 🙂