Tag Archives: problem

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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I Have Something To Confess, How About You?

I hate cooking!

I sat down in my steaming hot kitchen, put my head in my hands and cried.

My face was flaming, there was ‘stuff’ on every work surface, recipe books were smeared with flour, the oven was working away, dishes were piled up, dirty pans that won’t go in the dish washer waited,  and I was in despair.

We were giving a ‘dinner party’ for  six guests (I know, not exactly a crowd) and I’d been running round in circles since early morning. I thought I’d been looking forward to it. I’d written my lists, done the shopping, even  laid the table. But the fact remained – I was in tears.

Apparently I’m not alone.  A recent press survey reported that many of us find the whole dinner party thing more stressful than seeing the bank manager or commuting to work!

So what’s the problem?

Here’s my Positive Spin.

  • I don’t like being ‘judged’.

There are so many cookery shows on TV and it looks so easy! They’re run by real chefs, all with years of training and experience,  owning  successful restaurants. Of course their meals are amazing. That’s what their diners expect! Of course I can’t match their expertise. But somehow, when I have friends around for dinner, because I’m not a natural cook, I feel judged.

  • I don’t want to ‘fail’.

I feel embarrassed if my roast potatoes aren’t perfect, my sauce has lumps (surely not!) or the steaks are over/undercooked. I worry that my menu won’t live up to expectations.

  • I feel out of my depth.

At the last dinner party I went to there were three desserts.  I just can’t compete!  What will they say if I only produce one! I don’t know how to make filo pastry by hand, unlike my talented friend. I’ve not mastered the art of home-made ice cream or perfect cheesecake.

And so it goes on.

So! What can I do about it?

  • I need to get ‘real’.

Sharing a meal is a way to get together and enjoy one another’s company. If cooking for a dinner party puts me out of my depth then I need to be very brave and say, ‘ We’d love to see you for dinner. I’m not too confident about cooking so we’d like to take you out instead.’

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, there are plenty of great pubs in the UK that serve moderately priced meals and even more choices in the US.

  • I can cheat!

There’s an amazing array of food out there, ready cooked. Indian food is especially plentiful and not expensive. I’ve found fantastic savoury pies, casseroles and pasta dishes on sale in some butchers’ shops, along with fruit pies, crumbles and mousse. Sometimes I buy the main course but make the dessert. Or I make a really easy but tasty and interesting starter.

I always tell my friends that I cheated and they don’t turn a hair. At least, not so far as I can tell. It’s their company that’s the most important part of the evening.

  • I must live in the real world.

Everyone has skills. Everyone. Not everyone is an expert cook, home decorator,  dress-maker…. whatever. It’s time  to stop stressing about it and simply confess that I don’t enjoy trying to cook restaurant style food for guests. It’s silly to pretend otherwise.

There! That feels better…

How about you?

Is there anything you need to confess? Go on, you know you want to…

You’ll feel so much better if you do!

Header image by cursedthing, post pic by lisaclarke, 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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Ditch Your Addiction…And Help Solve A Huge Problem

‘Oh no! It’s absolutely pouring!’

‘I’ve just hung out my washing!’ (Yes, some of us in the UK still do that!)

‘I’ll get soaked, just walking to the car!’

Sound familiar?

It’s a UK habit.

We love to  moan about our weather, especially the rain.

I want to shout, ‘For goodness sake! It’s not life threatening! It’s only water!’

Wrong!

Lack of water, and lack of clean water is life-threatening.

I read this yesterday and I was shocked:

Please make the time to go over to this site and read more about the world’s water problem. You’ll be shocked too.

Today, Friday October 15th, is Blog Action Day.

The world’s bloggers from 125 countries are joining forces and blogging about the same issue on the same day, to promote discussion and action by as many people as possible.

This year’s issue is Water.

When I read about the world’s serious water problems I wondered how I could possibly help when the problem is so huge.

It’s easy to say, ‘How can I make a difference?’ and leave it to the ‘powers that be.’

But the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me, that if everyone thought that way,  no major changes would ever happen.

By joining in with all the thousands of bloggers world-wide and posting about the water problem on the same day, at least I’m doing something, however small.

Tap water, in disguise…

In this ‘Positive Spin’ post for B.A.D. 2010, I will write about the problem of bottled water addiction.

I don’t understand why a bottle of water (the ‘correct’ brand, naturally, or should I say, un-naturally?) has become a fashion accessory.

Whatever next?

Bottled ‘fresh air’?

It’s become an addiction.

Why?

I wish someone would explain it to me…

 Every time I see someone carrying their wretched plastic icon, I want to go up to them and say,

‘Are you dehydrated? It’s not even warm today. Are you about to collapse from thirst?’

But of course I don’t, I simply glare and walk on by.

According to an article on the site above, one third of bottled water comes from exactly the same source as tap water. In fact, the ‘Big Three’ water bottlers in the US use municipal water as the basis for their product, selling it back to us at hundreds of times the cost.

And the majority of the plastic bottles cannot be re-cycled…

Silly, isn’t it.

Here’s How YOU Can Help Solve a Huge Problem.

  • Drink your water from the tap.
  • If you don’t like the taste, use a simple water filter.
  • I find tap water tastes much better with some lemon or lime slices in, and perhaps some ice.
  • If you must carry water with you, re-use a bottle and fill it with tap water or from your  jug in the fridge.
  • If you do buy water in a bottle, check the bottle can be  recycled.
  • Read about the world-wide water problem and look for simple ways that you can make a difference.
  • And finally…Ditch your addiction!

‘The jug fills, drop by drop.

The Buddha’

 

What will you do to help with this huge water problem?

There are lots of ideas on the site I linked to above.

What do you think about our addiction to bottled water?

Do tell us in the comments.

New here?

If you liked this post and would like to read more, why not join my ‘Spinners’ and subscribe for my regular posts?

Header image courtesy of cursedthing.

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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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Looking For Something? New Direction! It’s Here!

Photo by Paolo Margari on Flickr

 

I lost my black velvet slippers. 

OK…they were old. 

Well past their ‘wear by’ date 

But they were comfortable and I wanted to find them. 

I turned the cottage upside down but no luck. They’d disappeared into thin air. I gave up and decided to buy some new ones. 

Weeks later I asked my OH to sort something on the computer for me. This involved crawling under my desk to fidddle with some wires. Right at the back where the spiders hide. 

‘Linda! You won’t believe what I’ve found!’ 

There they were –  right under my nose. I must have kicked them off under my desk and that’s where they’d been hiding.  

We’d been looking in the wrong place so we couldn’t have  found them… 

  

  • I need an idea to write about for you.

I start to search. I trawl my mind, consult books, go through my lists of ideas.  Zilch. A big fat nothing. 

Frustrated, I go downstairs to make a coffee and as I switch on the kettle… it comes to me. An idea. Being in my kitchen sparks off a thought. 

I’d been looking in the wrong place. The idea was right under my nose. 

  

  • I need a new writing project.

I go to the library, chat to writing friends, look in ‘Writing Magazine’, and then  this happens. 

I look out of my window… I live in what was a Victorian workhouse and  as I gaze into my tiny garden, I ‘see’ her.  An unmarried mother who lived here in the last century.  As I imagine our conversation I realise that here is my next project. Right under my nose. I will research the people who lived here and write an article about their lives. 

And that’s what I do. 

  

Are you … 

  • Looking for a new job?

Start right where you are. 

List your skills. Think of new ways to use them. 

What do people tell you you’re good at? What kind of job needs these skills ? 

The job you seek could be right under your nose. If you’re looking in the wrong place, you won’t find it.  

  

  • Looking for the solution to a problem?

Start where you are. 

Write it down. Now it won’t seem so bad. You’ve said it out loud. 

Now work out the one small step you can take today, towards solving this problem. 

Take that step. 

Now work out what the next small step might be… and so it gets solved. 

Not all at once. If it was that easy it wouldn’t be a problem. But if it matters to you, it matters. 

 The solution you seek could be right under your nose. If you’re looking in the wrong place, you won’t find it. 

  

  • Looking for a new direction?

New qualification? Want to volunteer? Want to find your ‘style’ in clothes or hair? 

Start right where you are. 

Look at what you have. 

What does your instinct tell you is right for you? 

What would you go for if you only had a month/6 months/year left? 

What have you always wanted to do but never got around to? 

 Trust me, I’m a Confidence coach! 

Whatever you’re searching for, start by looking ‘right under your nose’. 

Look carefully and you’ll be surprised what you’ll find. 

  

Looking for something?  

Where will you look? 

  

Header image courtesy of abbyreed on Flickr.

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6 Simple Steps To Climb A Mountain

‘I don’t believe it!’   

‘Surely not!’   

‘Whatever next!’   

Sorry, you mountaineers out there and I know there are a few (!), but it’s true.   

There’s a tarmac path on part of the ancient miners’ route up Mt. Snowdon!    

Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and very popular with climbers, old and young. The Snowdonia National Park Authority say that they want to give easier access for those with disabilities. Fair enough but apparently people are now taking their children up there in push chairs. What do you think about that?   

There’s always been a train for those unable to make the summit on foot but this tarmac path does seem a step too far, and the locals who know the mountain well are not at all happy about it.    

Photo courtesy of virtualjacki on Flickr.

 

 Over on Zen Habits Scott Dinsmore has written an enlightening post about climbing the mountains of life. It started me thinking (off I go again…) about how we can put a Positive Spin on facing even the smallest of problems. We just need to look at how a mountaineer does it.   

1.   Decide.   

  • The climber must make up his mind to face the challenge that the mountain will bring.
  • For some of you, deciding to face a nagging problem will be a challenge in itself. That’s fine. If you like, you can decide that you’re not ready today. No problem. You’ve decided… not to decide. But you’ll know when you’re ready to face it with a positive attitude.

2.   Get equipped.   

  • A climber has to assemble everything he  needs for the climb.

And… he must carry it with him.   

  • You must prepare. too. Get information, ask for advice, and take it. You can’t face this blind. You must be well  equipped and take it all with you.

3.   Make a plan.   

  • The climber takes a map and compass. He needs to find his way. There might be low cloud. Mist. He can’t risk losing the path or falling.
  • You need to make a plan. Make a step by step list of how to tackle the problem. Tiny steps count. They add up. Taking it steady is the answer. Keep to the path.

4.   Find some buddies.   

  • The climber will be unlikely to set off alone. He’ll have fellow climbers with him who may be more experienced, who he can turn to when there’s a set back. They can support one another.
  • You need buddies too. People who know how it feels to have this problem, who can stand in your shoes. They’ll give you support when you feel like giving up.

5.   Take a break.   

  • The climber will need to rest. There’s no point in getting exhausted. A few minutes rest can make all the difference between success or failure.
  • You will need a break too. Sometimes you won’t feel like carrying on with the task for today. Just wait, until you feel refreshed and ready to continue.

6.   ‘Easy’ is not best.   

  • A climber will say that the easy way up Snowdon is not the best. The whole point of a mountain climb is the challenge it brings and the satisfaction that comes from  meeting that challenge. The tarmac path presents little challenge.
  • Don’t imagine that facing and meeting your challenge will be easy. What would be the point? Follow the mountain climber’s example. Approach your climb with foresight, common sense and patience and…  properly equipped in every way.You’ll be glad you did.

What’s your personal mountain?   

Will you take the challenge?   

For more on this subject you might like to read this post.   

Header photo courtesy of abyreed on Flickr

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