Archive | March, 2010

Keyboard of Positivity

19 Mar

The Keyboard of Positivity

Earlier today I made a flippant comment about how I wish I could press a button to ‘refresh’ people and make them rethink some negative comments. After this, I came up with a concept of using different ‘buttons’ on a keyboard to banish unwanted or negative thoughts.

Consider the following buttons found on the standard computer keyboard:

Refresh
Control key
Tab
Space bar
Backspace
Return
Caps lock
Escape

We can learn to associate each of these keyboard ‘buttons’ (amongst others) with certain activities that will help you implement positive thoughts.

Here are some examples:

Press ‘Refresh’ when work is getting on top of you –  associate this button with 10 minutes of yoga or an activity which relaxes your body whilst meditating your mind.

Press ‘Control’ to control feelings of hunger, shopping or nicotine cravings, by distraction therapy such as playing with a pet, writing a diary.

Feeling lazy? Not motivated to attend a planned exercise class, press ‘Tab‘ and spend 15 minutes  slowly counting to ten to regain your focus  or reason for wanting to keep fit.

Use ‘Space bar’ – take yourself physically away from a person that is irritating or upsetting you.

Backspace’ – apologise for something you said or did that you didn’t mean. Avoid angering or upsetting others, by taking back an action or hurtful words.

Unable to gain perspective on a current problem or are you overrun with negative emotions? ‘Return’ – return to a happy memory, with a person you love, a holiday destination,  a happy time in your life. Remember to lock these memories as they happen. Positive thoughts are much stronger than negative. ones

Having a disagreement with someone? Press ‘Caps lock’ to stand up for yourself and your beliefs. If anyone attempts to bring you down, stand true to yourself and protect yourself against unconstructive criticism.

Escape’ – if all the above fails, ave a back-up plan to remove yourself from your current situation. Have a weekend away planned, a spa day, massage, gym session with a friend – anything that helps you escape an overwhelming situation. Come back to the situation relaxed and rested, with a new focus.

Regular pratice of a variety of coping techniques can build up your confidence to cope with whatever difficult situations life throws at you. Every technique takes time to learn. Compare the above ‘buttons’ with learning and then perfecting a swimming stroke.  At first, you may believe the stroke is impossible to master. You learn the basics and, with practice, your technique slowly improves. Practice everyday and you can become a master, having the ability to call on coping strategies in any situation.

Without realising it, this is something I have been practising over the last few months. I can honestly say I have never felt so positive, despite many recent setbacks. Try it!

From Diagnosis to Ironman

17 Mar

Back in January, I was diagnosed with a hole in my heart. Over the last two months I have had many investigations, with today being the first day I received results. I will need an operation to close the hole in my heart, as it is large and the right side of my heart is failing (!). Not nice news.

BUT, after the operation and recovery, I will be able to return to my current level of fitness and far exceed this also. My initial questions to my consultant were those relating to health, the surgery, outcomes etc. Second, came questioning about my ability to return to training for running events and triathlons. As exercise is a big part of my life, I naturally wanted to enquire how this diagnosis will impact my plans for racing this year and for the future.

My plans for marathons for this year are out, definitely. My triathlon races and the London to Brighton bike ride in mid-summer, questionable. I have paid to see my consultant privately to speed things up, for which I am lucky. Seeing a specialist in Southampton will give me the answers to my health and fitness questions. I am informed (and this information is cemented in my mind), that I will be running within 4 weeks of surgery, so long as I have a local anaesthetic procedure as opposed to open heart surgery.

Either way and under any circumstances, I am DETERMINED to remain positive and achieve my dreams of improving as an athlete, however amateur! Over the last few years, my running has improved – not greatly (and for this I now have reason!). My love of triathlon including swimming and cycling has grown and I am committed to pursuing my fitness goals. And yes, this does include Ironman.

Ironman for me symbolises the ultimate challenge, physically, psychologically and emotionally. For those that achieve this endurance challenge, the rewards are immense. I am incredibly hard to please, and this is what drives me forward. To sit back and accept or resign yourself to a seemingly gloomy fate is unproductive. You could even say that this kind of attitude is failing yourself.

My journey starts here. Crazy as it sounds, I’m excited. I am positive that the benefits of this hurdle in my life will far outway any negative implications. To test myself like never before and record my journey to share my experience with others, I will not only increase my belief in my abilities to succeed but inspire others to overcome obstacles in their lives.

Generation Y And Our Expectations

16 Mar

Generation Y – an ambiguous term for those born in the mid 1970′s onwards, or those currently in their twenties or thirties. This generation, which I belong to, as a generalisation have understanding and upbringing with digital communication, the internet and the media. With changing economic and political climates, this generation AKA the ‘MTV generation’, as a generalisation have high expectations of life. After living through an age where  there was a feeling that ‘anything is possible’, many people feel there is much to live up to; high flying career, travelling, wild holidays, university, adventure, getting on the property ladder.

Christine Hassler, a lifecoach, broaches this subject in her video. Her thoughts rang true with me and my life. Not often is it that the so-called Generation Y”s problems are analysed. Watch the video and consider what you expect from your life. Time to get off the treadmill??

That is exactly what I have done over the last few months. Quite literally (with a forced decrease in my running) and literally, with implementing my career ambitions, taking a different path from my profession.

Ticking Along Nicely

13 Mar

Ever had a conversation with a friend and received the answer ‘I’m ticking along nicely’? Many of us convince ourselves that life is something to pass the time, something to endure, a life sentence which is assigned to us. ‘This is my lot’, ‘Fate has dealt me these circumstances’.

Ask yourself: am I happy? If the answer is ‘Yes, but….’ or ‘Yes, I think so’, ask yourself: am I truely happy? If you are reading this with interest, may I be so presumptuous to assume the answer is ‘No’.

Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself and others that you would like more out of your life. Do not apologise for your dreams, however wild, seemingly unlikely or mundane.

Above all, never settle for satisifactory. Everyone is capable of achieving their wildest dreams – IF they dare to work towards them with commitment, determination and positive passion.

Add the phrase ‘ticking along nicely’ to the banned phrase bank!

Wise Words From Younger Brother

9 Mar

After a long discussion with my brother last night about our different aspirations, career and life ambitions, he sent me some wise words after our conversation:

“Don’t forget, big sister of mine, that all this energy you are using up will be wasted if you don’t have a direction and goals. Don’t try to do everything at once. What do you want to achieve in 5 years? Does that fit in with what Damon wants? And don’t forget that you can be successful and still have time to relax and have fun!”

 OK, so this may in slightly tongue-in-cheek advice, but I thought the final sentence was salient to my current mission. I passionately believe your work, job, career or calling can be fun and fit in with your ‘play time’. I aim to become a qualified life coach this year which will involve learning new skills on courses, reading and networking. I hope to draw on my experience working with people as a nurse and midwife. But ultimately, I desire a vocation that incorporates my passion to communicate a positive attitude to life, health, exercise and mental well-being. After many years spent searching for a career that completely satisified all of my wishes, I finally feel I have found something I can be successful at, whilst still having fun and taking time to enjoy my numerous sporting hobbies.

Lifecoaching for me can encompass my passion for travel, meeting new, like-minded people, helping others achieve their dreams and maintaining a professional outlook to all my work.

So in answer to my brother’s questions; I do have direction for my career but I need to work on my specific goals. I do try to complete many tasks at once, but I strive on this fast paced challenge. Running a business alongside my studies and sports is hugely rewarding. What will I be doing in 5 years? If I were to write a list of all I’d like to achieve in that time, it would take several hours! Instead, I like to focus on small steps to achieving my annual goals. This makes the targets less intimidating and changes can be made along the way if necessary. Does this matter if my aims differ from my partners? I believe it is healthy to have both individual and joint goals. Our business goals are very much united, our overall life aims match. To have separate plans for personal challenges and ambitions creates healthy time apart. Finally, I may not take enough time to relax, but I very much intend to plan this in over the year!

Always listen to wise advice from others, deciding on your own thoughts and not distracting yourself from your well-thought out plans.

Analogy Of A Pop Star

3 Mar

I had a rambling thought over the weekend about how pop stars and their success are similar to establishment of a small business. Crazy?? Well here is my comparison:

A ‘manufactured’ pop singer or band becomes successful in the charts as a result of an team of experts. This includes:

PR, sales, marketing, management, talented songwriters /lyricists e.g. creative experts, accountants, legal advisors, administration, PAs, stylists, fitness advisors, hair and beauty.

In your own business, you often have to wear all hats. Even when your business begins to grow, the responsibility of  delegation still lies with you, the business owner. So, how can you cope with all of these roles?

From my experience in a small business, it is best to approach each task one by one. This may mean spending a morning on your administration and the afternoon on marketing. OK, you may not need a stylist to look good for work, but you still need support from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, preferably from an expert. Employing the help of an expert company or learning a topic such as online marketing yourself can mean expontential grow of your business.

Consider the music sales industry as few years ago. Online downloads have transformed both music sales and the charts. The internet will continue to grow and methods of online marketing / social media will be well known.

To succeed in your own business, become an expert in an areas of interest to you. My area of interest is currently two fold; lifecoaching and online marketing. Diverse subjects some might say. However, from my studies, I see many similiarities between business and success in life.

I passionately believe riches in life are as important as financial riches. I hope to use my experience of working with people in a healthcare enviroment in combination with my business knowledge, to encourage others to achieve their dreams in life.