Tag Archives: help

What Will You Risk For The First Time This Week?

I thought I was good at it.

Taking risks, I mean. I’ve certainly faced some fears (see my This Is Me page) and taking risks? Not a problem. Except this week…

The fear of an event is nearly always worse than the actuality, so I’ve read. I believe it’s true but I have to force myself to act on it sometimes.

I remember the waterfall in the Lake District.

We'll have to turn back

The roar of the torrent, the spray everywhere, the sheer height. I was overawed by it but somehow we had to cross over to the other side or else turn back.  I stood and stared, fear fluttering in my chest. 

As I stood there getting more and more scared, my attention was caught by a child in a red jacket, and his dog. He was running along, in front of his dad, clambering up the grassy path towards me, heading for the edge of the water fall. Then he disappeared from view and I assumed the path cotinued through the gorse bushes at the side.

I was still wondering whether we should turn back and take a different track, when there he was, on the other side of the waterfall, his red coat zig-zagging away and his dog following.

His dad was close by where I stood.

‘He’s crossed over! How on earth has he done it? Surely it’s too risky!’

He smiled.

‘We often come this way. If you go round the corner you’ll see the stepping stones! They’re slippery but it’s OK to cross if you take care!’

This week I’m taking a ‘risk’ with my blog.

I’ve decided to update this site and move on to the next stage of blogging.

Here’s how it’s going so far:

  • I decided I want to make the change.

Making the decision to make any change is often the easiest part. It’s only in your mind at this stage. No risk yet.

Writing it down can make it more real, so long as you don’t tell anyone, then you can still ‘turn round and go back’.

I did exactly this: I wrote down my plans to up-grade, but kept it to myself.

  • You seek support

If you’re scared to take the risk by yourself, look for someone to guide you.

Want to change career? Travel alone? Learn to ski? Write a novel? Talk to those who’ve’ been there, done it and got the t-shirt.’  I love this Danish Proverb: ‘He knows the water best who has waded in it.’

I did exactly this: One of my blogging friends, Arvind Devalia has indeed ‘been there, done it…’ and he is a consultant in this area. He will guide me through the whole process and I need have no fear.

  • What if?

Yes! I said it.

What if… I can’t manage the change?

OK, but what if I can, with Arvind’s expert help?

There’s always another way, just like the stepping stones that were hidden from our view that day. When we want to make a change or take a risk, it seems scary at first. But once you’ve thought it through, decided, and found support you’ll be so glad you did.

And, by the way, the view from the other side of the waterfall was stunning…

‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now it’s your turn.

What will you risk for the first time, this week ?

Header image by cursedthing, post image by 

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Filed under action, anxious, change, failure, fear, plans, positive, progress, risk, safe, success

What Two Ladybirds Taught Me About Friendship

It was the bright red that caught my eye. It looked stunning against the dark green of the mint leaves that grow by my kitchen door. They shouldn’t have been there, not  in November.

Constancy...

I bent down, feeling my eyes widen with a curious smile. I sat down on the step and watched them.  What a privilege it was.

As I watched I knew they were ‘friends’ for that was how they behaved and the sight of them stayed with me all the rest of the day. Now, every time I pick some mint I look for them, but they’ve flown away. I hope they return…

These two tiny insects taught me so much that morning and because I like to notice the ‘small stuff‘ I knew I’d have to write about them. A new blogging friend, Kathy Sprinkle, of ‘Bliss Habits’,  said she was wondering what I could possibly write about ladybirds when I told her my idea, so this post is for her in particular.

Here’s my Positive Spin about…

What two ladybirds taught me about friendship.

1.   They were on one  another’s side.

They were crawling up the mint stem, side by side.

Sometimes we don’t agree with what a friend is doing or saying.  We listen and watch and although their decision may not be ours, we’re still on their side. We defend them and help them get where they want to be.

2.   They took turns to lead.

It was strange. First one of them was way out in front, then it seemed to wait for the other to catch up, even allowing it to overtake.

Friendship should be like that. We take turns to have the ‘good ideas’ or the ‘fantastic’ plans. We are delighted for our friend when they succeed at something, just as they are for us. When my friend overtakes me in, say, cooking, travelling, keeping fit, losing weight; that’s fine. It’ll be my turn another day.

3.   They eased one another’s path.

They really did! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! One ladybird actually seemed to hold down a leaf to help her friend across a ‘chasm’! She waited while her friend slowly clambered over and then they continued up the stem, one behind the other.

That’s what friendship is all about, isn’t it? Easing one another’s path? Listening when they cry down the phone, helping when they’re not well, enabling them to make a decision, giving advice if they ask for it. 

4.   They withstood the ‘storm’ together.

There was a sudden breeze, disturbing the mint. For those tiny creatures this was a ‘storm.’ The stems swayed about and I expected at least one of them to fly away but she didn’t. She stayed where she was, quite still, beside her friend.

The phone rings in the middle of the night. There’s a crisis. You drive to the hospital with her. Or her car breaks down, or her she’s worried about her teenager who still isn’t home. You stay with her, because she needs you. As she’d stay with you. It’s called constancy.

I won’t forget those ladybirds. Some might say I’m silly with my imaginings but it’s noticing the small stuff that makes my life fascinating and thought provoking. I could easily have missed them. And their message.

Do you notice the ‘small stuff’?

What can you notice today, that’s easy to miss? Do you look for the ‘small stuff’ too?

What positive message does it have, for you, and for me?

Header image by cursedthing, post image by nutmeg66, on Flickr.

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Beginners Guide to Solving The Problem of World Peace

It's our problem...

‘World Peace? Our problem? Stop it… now you’re being very silly…’

Errr, no. I’m not. Being silly, that is.

Every drop helps to fill an ocean…

Every Positive Action we take in our tiny ‘world’ will help to bring peace to the larger world, if we all join in.

We can do something to help.

All of us.

If we take the time to think it through.

 

I thought it through and I came up with:

The Beginners Guide to Solving the Problem of  World Peace.

1.   What if… we waited?

Not easy. Doesn’t come naturally. We tend to put ourselves first. 

  • What if we waited…. and let the car out in front? (What?)
  • What if we waited…. without moaning, in the queue? (No,I can’t…)
  • What if we waited…  for the other person to speak and not interrupt?(Impossible…)
  • What if we waited…  before jumping in with our opinion? (But….)

2.   What if …we took responsibility?

It’s easy to lay blame. I do it all the time. It’s not my fault.

  • What if …we admitted when we’re wrong? (Don’t be ridiculous…)
  • What if …we stood in the other person’s shoes? (Why should I?)
  • What if …we acknowledged when we’ve upset someone? (But that’s hard…)
  • What if … we… (good grief!) apologised? (But…)
  • What if …we stopped making excuses for our behaviour? (I can’t do that, because… well, just because…)

3.   What if… we took a back seat for a change?

Oh dear…

  • What if… we spent time listening to a friend’s problem, even when we’re really busy with our own stuff? (Not enough hours in my day!)
  • What if… we didn’t rush away when someone wants to chat and it’s not ‘convenient?’ (But I’ve so much to do.)
  • What if… we didn’t try to influence other people’s choices? (But they’ll get it so wrong!)
  • What if… we said ‘yes’ to a simple request, even when we ‘d rather not ‘because it’s too much trouble’? (Must I?)

4.   What if…we smiled rather than frowned?

It doesn’t seem to come naturally but people are surprised when you do!

  • What if… you smiled and waved at the driver who ‘cut you up’ on the motor way?  (He’d be very surprised! OK, or she would…)
  • What if… you smiled at the waitress when she brought you the wrong order, and just quietly pointed it out? (I suppose I could…)
  • What if… you smiled rather than exploded when you lost a document on the computer, because it was your mistake and no-one else’s? (OK, I get your point…)

5.   What if … we stopped  blaming?

I could write a lengthy list of all the people who’re responsible for everything that goes wrong for me. Starting with computer designers…

  • What if… it wasn’t the government’s fault that our schools don’t meet our children’s needs? (But it is, isn’t it?)
  • What if… it wasn’t the chocolate makers’ fault that you put on weight? (They shouldn’t make such tempting stuff…)
  • What if… it wasn’t your partner’s fault that the washing machine won’t work today? (It has to be his fault, I didn’t overload it…)
  • What if… it wasn’t your child’s fault that he missed the bus? (Of course it was.)

The more I think about it the more I realise that we could all do more to make – 

  • our everyday lives more peaceful,
  • our family’s lives more peaceful,
  • our friends’ lives more peaceful,
  • everyone we meet’s lives more peaceful,

(see where I’m going with this?)

What do you think?

  • Am I being too idealistic?
  • Am I being silly?
  • Or… can we help solve the enormous problem of world peace?

In a small way?

Join our World Peace Chain, mentioned in the comments!

What will YOU do?

 

Header image by cursedthing, post image by Cayusa, both on Flickr

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Filed under action, change, excuses,, expectation, fear, hope, persistence, plans, positive, progress, success

I Can Try To Solve Your Problem (With A Little Help From Your Friends)

This is your blog!

 And its aim is this:

I want to try to solve your particular problem.

Tell me your problem and I will give you my

Positive Spin.

 

 

Here are 10 areas I can help you with, as examples:

  1. How to find your confidence
  2. How to say ‘no’ and stick to it
  3. How to set and reach your goals
  4. How to deal with a difficult person
  5. How to conquer your fear of driving/heights/dating/water/any fear!
  6. How to give a talk for the first time when you’re very nervous
  7. How to speak up for yourself
  8. How to not be a doormat
  9. How to deal with a difficult aged parent
  10. How to find your self-esteem

Here are 10 ways Spinners can join in and help:

  1. discuss an issue
  2. provide interesting insight
  3. air opinions
  4. ask questions
  5. toss ideas around
  6. agree to disagree
  7. provide one another with food for thought
  8. be controversial
  9. view things from a different standpoint
  10. let off steam

I have a seriously long list of  ideas to write about,

but I  want to write about what helps you, specifically!

I need you to tell me what you would like me to focus on.

I will write about your suggested  topics – they will be my priority areas.

And all you Spinners can join in and make a noise!

Please don’t be shy…

Just tell me, in the comments, about a problem you’d like us to solve for you on this blog.

Lots of heads are better than one and, as they say, it’s good to talk…

Over to you…I can’t wait to begin!

 

Just in case you’re new here and you missed yesterday’s cakes,

I have a Guest Post over on weblogbetter today.

I hope you’ll pop over to read it during the next few days and  join in the comments.

And… if you missed the cakes, there’s one left- just for you!

 

Header image by cursedthing, post picture by Helga Weber, both on Flickr

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Filed under action, change, confidence, expectation, fear, goals, happiness, hope, persistence, plans, positive, progress, realistic, risk, success

99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked ( Not To Be Read All At Once)

from Turkuu

 

Going into space.    

Our achievements seem to pale into insignificance compared.  

Compared!   

Bad word.  

Every achievement stands alone.  

We can all list our achievements and believe they ‘don’t count,’ if we compare them with being a successful astronaut.  

The point is, there is no comparison. It’s impossible to compare.  

On Tuesday I asked a question about achievements and one of our Spinners commented that  

she had no achievements to be proud of,  

and that made me sad.  

As a result, I decided to compile this list of  

99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked (Not To Be Read All At Once)  

Each one has been achieved by a person I know, or know about,  and some of mine are in there too.  

1.   You create a cottage style garden, from scratch  

2.   You get out of bed in the morning when you’re severely depressed  

3.   You travel to London to work when you’re blind  

4.    You take up belly dancing again after a long break  

5.    You undergo chemo when you’re 6 years old  

6.    You undergo chemo when you’re 60 years old  

7.    You choose breast reconstruction  

8.    You choose not to have breast reconstruction  

9.    You pass your driving test after 13 attempts  

10.  You travel in a lift when you’re claustrophobic  

11.  You bring up your child alone   

12.  You are a carer for an elderly parent    

13.  You give up a well paid job to care for your sick child  

14.  You keep a ‘gnome’ on display in your garden, although you hate them, because it was a precious gift  

15.  You become a regular hospital visitor  

16.  You befriend a difficult neighbour  

17.  You teach your teenage son how to budget  

18.  You read Lord of the Rings without skipping any of it  

19.  You produce a Bat-Man fancy dress costume with 2 hours notice  

20.  You keep taking driving lessons although your hands leave damp patches on the steering wheel  

21.  You lose 8 pounds in weight in time for your son’s wedding  

22.  You help a child to make cup-cakes without losing your patience  

23.  You pay off your credit card  

24.  You cut up your store cards  

25.  You take a flight in a micro-lite, despite a fear of enclosed spaces  

26.  You go snorkelling despite a fear of deep water  

27.  You go up a long spiral staircase to the top of an ancient Italian tower despite an acute fear of heights  

28.  You leave your abusive partner after years of trying to do it  

29.  You climb a proper mountain for the first time  

30.  You give a talk to a large group of professionals in your field, despite your natural shyness  

31.  You go on holiday abroad by yourself after recovering from agarophobia  

32.  You walk a marathon with a friend for charity  

33.  You walk through a field of cows despite your fear of them  

34.  You go to adult swimming classes   

35.  You have an article accepted by a national magazine  

36.  You join a gym despite not liking exercise and go twice a week for 3 months  

37.  You pick up an enormous spider without showing your fear to your husband who’s petrified  

38.  You give up alcohol for a month to show you can  

39.  You drive on the motor way for the first time, despite your fears   

40.  You take control and sort out your difficult housing situation  

41.  You help an unemployed friend to update his CV and, as a result, he gets a job  

42.  You leave your comfort zone and fly abroad for the first time  

43.  You successfully learn to play golf so you can see more of your OH  

44.  You cure yourself of your chocolate addiction (well, almost)  

45.  You visit a friend in Intensive Care despite feeling very scared  

46.  You ask a child to teach you how to skateboard in the park  

47.  You painstakingly research your family history back to 1700  

48.  You go to the dentist for the first time for years  

49.  You sign up to a writing class and discover a hidden talent  

50.  You make jam for the first time and it sets!  

51.  You learn how to take excellent digital photos  

52.  You apply for a part-time job, now that the children are at school, and you love it  

53.  You go to assertiveness classes to help with bullying in the workplace  

54.  You receive one of the largest ‘office leaving collections’ ever  

55.  You are a ‘stubborn optimist’ (you know who you are!) despite being on dialysis for ten years  

56.  You are dyslexic and achieve your degree. You’re considering a Ph D to follow  

57.  You take a risk and get your ‘purple wallet’  

58.  You start a successful antique market stall with no previous experience  

59.  You complete your promotion exam for the prison service despite being severely dyslexic  

60.  You bravely decide to drop out of your uni course after a year of doubt and despair  

61.  You choose not to wear a wig when your hair falls out after chemo  

62.  You decide  to travel abroad by yourself so you go off to China with ‘Just You’ (for solo travellers)  

63.  You undergo a 30 minute MRI scan despite your claustrophobia  

64.   You adopt a mistreated cat from Cat Rescue  

65.  You perform Karaoke at your daughter’s party in front of a room full of strangers  

66.  You  sit with your father in hospital on his last day on this earth  

67.  You go horse riding for the first time since childhood   

68.  You achieve a 2.1 degree at 43 years old  

69.  You jump in the deep end and take Copyblogger’s 7 Link Challenge  

70.  You book up for piano lessons at 60  

71.   You write your autobiography and have it published  

72.   You travel to Canada to find your birth father  

73.   You hand in your notice for the job you’ve been unhappy in for ages  

74.   You take your cat to the vet knowing it’s his last journey  

75.  You finally learn how to make a decent cup of tea for your fussy MIL, despite never drinking tea yourself  

76.  You play the piano with your feet because you have no hands  

77.  You handle an enormous python, to prove you’re cured of s snake phobia  

78.  You stand up for yourself against a bullying boss  

79.  You sign up to take A-Level Art with your daughter at her college, and you get an ‘A’  

80.  You survive a stroke at 50 with great courage  

81.   You learn how to make Christmas pudding and it’s as good as his mum makes  

82.   You bravely remove the heads and tails from a plate of prawns to conquer your squeamishness  

83.   You decide to stop being a people pleaser and learn to say ‘no’ when you want to  

84.   You decide to take control of your children’s difficult behaviour and make a realistic plan to achieve it  

85.   You set aside a whole day every week to be you and stick to it  

86.   You make up your mind that you’re not just a housewife  

87.   You decide to stop harming yourself by pulling out your eyelashes. It’s not easy but you achieve it.  

88.   You join an internet dating site with confidence  

89.   You buy Dr Phil’s Book, Life Strategies, and start to follow his brilliant advice  

90.   You press publish on your very first blog post, despite the butterflies  

91.    You  hold down a job you enjoy despite 4 hours daily commuting  

92.    You speak up at a business meeting despite worrying that you’ll look foolish  

93.    You run a successful Parenting Course, overcoming your self-doubt  

94.    You spend nearly a year writing a book, finally seeing it published  

95.    You put your child’s needs before your own, always.  

96.    You walk through a flurry of bees on the lavender path,although you’re terrified of them  

97.    You go into the anaesthetic room with your daughter without showing her your fears  

98.    You decide to start a blog to show your readers that Positivity can be found all around us  

99.    You complete writing/reading this list!  Phew!  

Still believe you have no achievements?  

Right…  

When you have a few hours to spare, write your own list.  

I guarantee it will be a long one.  

Why not add your most important achievement, in the comments?  

  

Header image by abyreed, on Flickr 

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Filed under action, change, dyslexia, expectation, fear,, goals, happiness, hope, persistence, phobia, plans, positive, progress, realistic, risk, success

How To Lose Friends And Feel Great About It!

‘Guess what! I’ve got 274 friends on Facebook! How many have you got?’     

I was in the supermarket when I heard two teenagers talking.      

I smiled to myself as I walked away and thought about what I’d been reading over on Zen Habits.      

Leo Babauta was writing about ‘De-cluttering’ and I realised that his attitude to getting rid of ‘stuff’ we neither need, want or enjoy could be applied to the people in our lives, particularly friends.     

What is all this about having so many ‘friends’ on Face Book?     

It seems to me to be a very clever way to increase isolation and loneliness.     

Why do I think this?     

  • Most of these ‘friends’ will remain cyber acquaintances. We’ll never meet for real, simply chat on line.
  • There aren’t enough hours in each day to talk to them about more than superficial things.
  • How can you retain a friendship when you can only chat for a few minutes before moving on to the next person?

Perhaps I just don’t get it.     

But I realised that we do need to think about how and  why we acquire our friends and how many people we can call ‘friends’.     

True friends?

 

 Here’s my Positive Spin on How to Lose Friends and Feel Great About It.      

  • Don’t rush in.

It’s so easy to do! You’re on holiday, you meet someone/a couple/whatever and you hang out with them. You meet for meals, sit with them in the bar/on the beach/wherever, and very soon you’re exchanging addresses. And what happens? After a few emails or perhaps phone calls, the friendship grinds to a halt.     

Why?     

Because what you had in common was … you were on holiday together… and that’s about it.     

  • Think… does this ‘friend’ add or take away from your life?

When they call you, does your heart sink? Do they always want something from you or do they invite you to join them for a meal/ask how you’re doing/offer to help when you need it?     

Are they ‘drains’ or are they ‘radiators’?     

So… why are they still on your ‘friends list’?     

  • Step away from the phone.

Who gets in touch with who?     

If you’re not sure whether to keep contact with this person,    

wait…    

See how long it is before they contact you.     

How important to you, is contact with them?     

So… are they still on your ‘friends list’?    

Some people collect friends like other people collect DVDs.  Perhaps it boosts their self-esteem to believe they’re ‘popular’ (whatever that means…). But, as with the DVDs lining your shelves, if they don’t add anything to your life, why keep them? When I know I won’t watch a DVD again it goes to the charity shop… along with the books I won’t read again.    

Are you cluttering up your life with too many ‘friends’ who add nothing to your life?    

Far better to focus on nurturing a ‘few’ than being superficial with the ‘many’,( especially on Facebook in my view.)    

     

‘Aristotle said, ‘A friendship is essentially a partnership.’    

How many true friends do you have?  Honestly?    

What’s your view of Facebook as a tool for real friendship?

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5 Reasons You Must Never Buy The Big Issue

Please don't walk by...

 

He’s there every day, rain or shine, a smile on his face. The station’s busy with commuters, all intent on their journey to work. 

Some people stop and buy a copy, but most simply hurry past, ignoring him. 

What about you? 

  

Here are 5 Reasons You Must Never Buy the Big Issue. 

1.   Because you have a heart of stone. 

Here is someone who is trying to make a living. He’s made the effort to get his licence and he’s selling the Big Issue. He’s here in all weathers, facing the public. He’ll be ignored by some, abused by others, smiled at by a few – if he’s lucky. 

So… don’t buy a copy if you have a heart of stone. 

  

2.   Because you’re blind to the needs of others. 

What’s he to you? You have your own family to look after, why help him? OK, you’ve got fillet steak and mushrooms for supper tonight, so what? You might be out if work soon and then it’ll be a different tale . After all, charity begins at home… 

So… don’t buy a copy. 

  

3.   Because you’ve got your head in the sand. 

You have children who rely on you. They need trainers, school uniform, laptops.  He’ll be OK.  He doesn’t need your help. And he’ll only spend it on drugs or alcohol. 

Anyway, you’re in a hurry – got to get a couple of bottles of wine and some more cigarettes for the weekend. 

So… don’t buy a copy. 

  

4.   Because you can’t afford it. 

On the train home you’ll probably have a couple of glasses of wine with a mate. Then there’re the chops for your wife, that special coffee she wanted and the takeaway Chinese for later.  Amazing where all the money goes… 

So…don’t buy a copy. 

  

5.   Because you can’t stand in his shoes. 

He’s got a father or mother somewhere. Do they know where he is? 

What if he was your son? Would you want people to stop and buy? 

Has it ever occurred to you how vulnerable he might feel, day after day? 

How much does it cost to smile at him for a change as you rush by? 

Can you even begin to imagine what it feels like to stand in his shoes? 

No? 

So…don’t buy a copy. 

  

What do you think? 

Am I right? 

Some might say I’m naiive to think this way. 

But I always buy The Big Issue because that could be my son or my daughter, if things were different. 

What’s your view on this? 

Don’t be afraid to disagree – 

Feel free! 

  

‘He knows the water best who has waded through it. 

Danish Proverb. 

  

 

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