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Posts tagged “Mindset”

We often talk about the joys of serendipity and how life has a way of – almost (!) – magically falling into place IF we allow it to. Letting it unfold in its own way AND at its own pace. Often this happens in ways we never could have anticipated or takes us off in a completely new direction that turns out to be exactly what we wanted. 
 
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about – or it just sounds too good to be true – here’s a great definition of serendipity: 
 
“The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” 
 
And, for those who love trivia, did you know that it was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754? His inspiration came from “The Three Princes of Serendip”, a fairy tale where the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” 
We all have things that push our buttons – or get our goat, if you were wondering why on earth we chose this week’s picture (!). And there’s a lovely word to describe them which we only came across recently, tolerations. They drain our energy and are guaranteed to ruin our day. Or sometimes our week… 
 
Some are very small in the overall scheme of things. The bill that needs paying. Vase of flowers that have seen better days. Phone call to be made. Light bulb changed. Those good intentions that we mean to do but don’t quite get round to and annoy us until we do. 
 
Others are much bigger. The annoying neighbour. Overfilled diary. Upcoming family event (!). Money worries. An annoying friend / family member / boss / fill in the blank. We all have things that come into this category – and tolerate – as we just don’t know how to deal with them. 
It’s interesting how the mention of certain words is guaranteed to cause panic, particularly those of a medical bent. There are so many we could mention (!) but let’s just focus on the one we’d like to talk about today, fevers. 
 
Turn back the clock a few decades and fevers weren’t viewed in the same way as they are today. They were seen as part and parcel of many illnesses, particularly the childhood – often spotty – ones. Chicken Pox, Mumps, Measles and the like. 
 
Come back to today and the prevailing view is that they are “bad”, to be avoided at all costs. And, if you’re unlucky enough to have one, brought down as quickly as possible. 
 
But is it really that simple? Let’s find out. 
Not surprisingly, we often talk to clients about making changes in their lives, particularly at this time of year.  
 
These range from the small and easily manageable to much larger and more radical. Some are voluntary. Others have been forced on them by circumstances. Or, perhaps, by others whether with the best of motivations or not (!). And, without digressing too far, we all know there is a very fine line between “help” and “interference”…. 
 
The question that always comes up is how to make changes more easily. Well, let’s be honest, as painless and quick as possible. 
 
Well, there’s good news and bad news.  
 
The good news is that there’s an easy answer to this question. The bad news is that it isn’t necessarily the one the client wants to hear. 
Not surprisingly, the subject of Christmas – AHHHH!!! – has been coming up with clients over the last few weeks and we thought it was about time to suggest an alternative less stressful approach. And, while we’re focussing on the 25th December, it applies equally to any family gathering ... 
 
Even though you probably don’t want to be reminded of it (!) let’s start with a quick reminder of the traditional recipe for Christmas: 
Let’s face it, there are some days when we feel below par. Less than our usual – hopefully happy (!) – selves. 
 
Perhaps we wake up with our own little black cloud firmly in place which stays with us for the day. Or, sometimes, a bit longer. 
Other times, it’s much more transient. We’re fine one minute, a little down the next and then it’s gone. A small cloud that quickly disappears. 
 
When we feel low – particularly at this time of year, when we’re meant to be full of seasonal cheer – it’s all too easy to go into over analysis mode. Looking for the “why”. But often there isn’t a simple – or obvious – answer for our change of mood. And we end up beating ourselves up for the lack of obvious answers. Talk about being counter productive. Making life more difficult for ourselves. 
 
Life is all about choices. 
 
And, yes, we know this is something of a cliché (!) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true... 
 
Some are made consciously. 
 
When we stop and look at all the options before deciding which one to choose. Weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each one. Make an informed – or conscious – decision. 
 
Others are made by default. 
 
Perhaps by turning a blind eye to whatever it is until the decision is made for us. Whether by someone else or events making the choice for us. 
There are some words we all seem to have issues with and are guaranteed to hit a sensitive spot. Perhaps it’s the negative connotations they seem to have. Or, they’ve been a buzz word in school / work / media / government / fill in the blank so we’re heartily fed up with them (!). 
 
In the case of the word we’re focussing on today, forgiveness, it’s more of a religious one. It’s seen as setting a standard that seems impossible for us, mere mortals, to attain. 
 
Dig out the dictionary – or do an internet search – and it’s easy to see why this word invokes such feelings. Its definition includes words like “exoneration, purgation, pardon, pity, mercy, clemency” with even “tolerance, understanding, leniency” sounding like a pretty tall order. 
 
So, today, we’d like to give a different perspective on forgiveness. One that makes it something we could actually achieve without super human efforts. 
We often hear people saying it’s hard to be happy. Even worse, that you can’t expect to be happy. And this is usually followed by a long list of whatever’s going on in their lives followed by what’s on the news. 
 
While it’s true that there are always going to be things going on in our lives, we always seem to look for happiness in the wrong place. In the world around us, rather than within. If this sounds rather strange, bear with us, it’ll all make sense in a moment. 
We were asked this question the other day and it’s a great one to get you thinking about what you truly value in life. 
 
So, before we go any further, why not take a couple of minutes to answer it for yourself? 
 
And, for those of you who worry about getting the answer “wrong”, the good news is there isn’t a “right” answer. Phew, that takes the pressure off! It’s only about what matters to you and, you never know, you might learn something interesting about yourself in the process... 
 
Having posed this question to various people, it quickly became clear that people tended to focus on tangible things when first answering it. Not surprisingly things like their home, car or granny’s engagement ring were popular initial answers. These were quickly followed by their “significant other”, parents or a much loved “four footed friend.” 
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