Tag Archives: opportunities

4 Secrets My Snowman Showed Me About Having A Positive Spin

 

He was my first snowman.

My cheeks were red with excitement and the cold.  All he needed was a hat and I ran indoors to ask mum if I could use one  of my knitted ones. With great ceremony I put it on his head and then stood back. He was as tall as me! He was smiling, and I’d made him all by myself.

That night, while I was getting ready for bed I heard an ominous sound. I knew what it was, it was the sound of water dripping. The icicles by the back door were melting and the snow looked different somehow. I stared put between my curtains at my snowman in the middle of the garden and tears crept down my cheeks.

Next morning he was gone. Just his blue knitted hat lay on the emerging grass, with his lumps of  coal eyes.

Last week I thought about that snowman.

I thought about the snow we’d just had and how people reacted to it. I realised that my long-ago snowman had started me on the road to having a Positive Spin.

Here are the 4 Snowman Secrets to having a Positive Spin:

1.   It’s  too easy to say ‘No.’

The day is snowed heavily we could have easily said ‘No’ to going out. After all, the house was very cosy, we had stuff we ‘ought’ to have been getting on with. But out we went. What we would have missed if we’d stayed in!

Exquisite beauty, twigs transformed, a silent world, a traffic free road and childlike fun.

I’m going to try to say ‘Yes’ far more in my life. What about you?

It’s so easy to feel wary, scared, afraid of change. But when we say ‘Yes’, we rarely regret it.

2.  We must appreciate people while they’re with us.

I was so sad when my snowman ‘died’. I’d only just met him and he was gone again.

I don’t want to sound morbid, but it’s often not until people leave us that we realise their importance in our lives.We must tell them how much they mean to us, show them we value them and give them hugs, virtual or real.  It never seems to be the right moment. I’m going to try to tell them more often …

3.   We must be proactive.

If I hadn’t built my snowman that day it would have been too late. It didn’t snow again that winter. I would have missed it.

It’s the same with life’s opportunities. If we don’t ‘seize the day’, the day will be gone. When we have the chance to learn something new, travel to a new place, make a new friend, we must take it. Before the opportunity disappears.

4.   Take that risk!

We went to see the children sledging. It was a delight to see them. And then, as you know from this post, I was offered the chance to join in. It would have been so easy to say ‘No’. But I said ‘Yes’ and took the risk. If I’d waited for another day, the snow would have melted, and who knows when another chance would come? When will we next get snow?

Chances to do new things will come your way. Follow your instinct. If it feels right, do it! New course? Learn to dance? Learn to ski? Why not!

I realise that having a Positive Spin is not practical all the time. But once you start to develop the habit, you’ll be surprised, as regular readers will know.

It’s like rolling a snowball. It grows… and grows…

… until it’s a way of life.

I’ve chosen to seize the day and upgrade this blog.

There’ll be a new look very soon! I could have waited until another day, but I decided the time was right. I’ll enjoy developing  and improving it for you, I’m certain of that.

Are you going to miss out on a magical, exciting experience?

Or are you going to say ‘Yes!’ and develop your Positive Spin?

What are you going to say ‘Yes’ to in 2011?

Do tell us. We all need some inspiration…

Header by cursedthing, post pic by theirhistory, on Flickr.

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Filed under action, change, confidence, excuses,, fear, goals, happiness, hope, instincts, plans, positive, progress, success, timing

Think the Snow Is A Nuisance? How to Change Your Mind

It’s still here. The snow, I mean. 

I heard this today: ‘It was fun at first. Now it’s just a nuisance.’

OK, I understand it’s difficult getting to the shops, you have to go without milk for a while and the schools are still closed, but this snowy time teaches us a lot about how we can look at life if we feel confident.

Here’s my Positive Spin on a snowy day. 

Snow is like Confidence. It transforms your life.

  • Snow smooths everything out.

Harsh shapes are rounded, spiky bushes are like balls, you can’t see the join between the path and the road.

When you’re confident you feel that your path is smoother. You see the way to diffuse spiky arguments, the differences between people are blurred. You become more tolerant.

  • Snow covers up imperfections.

Street litter is lost under the blanket, muddy patches become clean, every surface is garnished with a sparkle.

When you start to feel confident you find you don’t notice the imperfections in people so much. You focus on their good qualities, you try to see their point of view. You’re more agreeable.

  • Snow turns problems into opportunities.

So… you can’t get the car out of the drive! You have the opportunity to stay in, gaze at the beauty outside and reminisce about winters long ago. You are ‘allowed’ to watch DVD’s by the fire, make soup from those left over veg in the fridge, send friendly emails, and even write Christmas cards.

Confidence brings opportunities too. Instead of fearing changes in your ‘landscape’, you can see  new ways forward, possible new occupations,  new directions for your life.

  • Snow covers up tracks but lets you see fresh ones.

Muddy tracks disappear. The road is smoothed out. But we can see where the birds and animals have been wandering in our garden, under bushes and around trees.

When you learn to be confident (yes, you learn it), you learn to believe that very day is a fresh start. Yesterday has gone. You can’t change what you did/didn’t/do, wish you’d said/not said, the chances you missed. Today is like a fresh fall of snow on your ‘landscape.’ The new tracks you make are up to you.

  • Snow lets you use other people’s tracks.

Trudging up the lane is much easier if others have already made some tracks. It’s firmer, less slippery and you feel bolder as you stride along.

Confidence grows with encouragement, praise and positive feedback as you take steps towards your goals and make changes. Seeking and taking advice and help from others, walking in their tracks,  helps you make decisions.

  • Snowy weather lets you have fun!

It certainly brought out the ‘Inner Child’ in me. The lane was filled with neighbours and their children, all dragging sledges and throwing snowballs. A carrot was fetched for the snowman’s nose and mugs of coffee were passed around.

Confidence does that too. You can let yourself be child-like, try new things, travel to new places, have as much fun as you like.

Like the snow, Confidence transforms the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

What would you be able to do if you woke up  to find your world covered in the soft blanket of confidence?

Header by cursedthing, post pic byAlice Popkorn

    

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Are you Struggling To Reach That Goal? Let An Ant Solve Your Problem

Eyelashes to die for! 

The longest ever! 

I was overawed when I met him.

Utterly won over.

I’d never met an elephant before.

He wasn’t a bit how I imagined he’d be. I knew his hide would be rough but it was far thicker than I’d expected.  He was a gentle giant but I knew he could do a lot of damage to the trees in his habitat.

So I was amazed to read in the Daily Telegraph  that elephants are known to be terrified of ants!  

I know.

Sounds highly unlikely.

Apparently they can’t stand it when ants swarm up their sensitive trunks.

So they avoid any plants where ants will be found.

Scientists have seen this fear as a chance to help save the endangered trees and plants that elephants might damage. Colonies of ants are being introduced to protect vulnerable acacia trees in Africa, and it’s working.

The elephants are keeping well clear.

When I read the article it struck me how powerful ‘small things’ can be. 

This huge creature is terrified of an ant.

I wouldn’t have imagined an elephant even noticing ants, let alone fearing them.

Apparently they can smell them!

ants

So here it is …

 The Invaluable Life Lesson I Learnt … From An Ant. 

 One ant on its own would not terrify the elephant. But in a colony?  No problem.

 Think about this for a moment … 

You’ve set yourself a goal.  

But …

You’re putting it off.

You can’t even think about it.

Why?

It’s too much for you to even consider, unless …

You look for others to join your ‘colony’.

Here’re some examples where being part of a colony could help.

1.   You want to lose a few pounds? 

No need to do it on your own, join a ‘colony’!

Join ‘Weight Watchers’ or Slimming World. Ask a friend to come with you, or join an ‘online’ weight loss support forum.

2.   You want to write a novel?

Don’t know where to begin?

Join a colony!

Find out about a local writing group. Join an on-line course. Start a ‘colony’ of beginner writers.

3.   You want to make new friends? 

Join a colony!

Approach new mums/dads at the school gates. Invite them for coffee. Volunteer to help in school.

Look in shop windows for events advertised where you can meet like-minded people. A choir? Drama group? Church? Evening class?

4.   You want to learn ball room dancing? 

Join a colony!

Ask a friend to go with you and then find out where the classes are held.

5.   You want to travel to India? 

Join a colony!

Research travel companies who specialise in single travellers. Talk to others who’ve been there. Collect as much information as you can. You can’t make a decision without information.

Whatever you want to achieve, remember you don’t have to take huge steps to be effective and you don’t have to face it alone.

Little steps, each day, add up to make large strides. 

Dr Palmer, who researched this unexpected elephant fear, said this:

‘It’s yet another example of how the ‘little things’ rule the world.’

Think about this too-

‘Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprise.’

Demosthenes   384 BC

 

So … let’s learn from the ants. 

What ‘small step for man’ will you take today? 

And if there’s no ‘colony’ for you to join, (you know what I’m going to say, don’t you …) you can start your own!

Over to you …

Do tell us about a goal you’ve set yourself, and how the rest of the colony helped you reach it.

  

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